The Kentucky Wildcats traveled down to Athens to take on Georgia for an SEC matchup, with both teams looking for a win in what was anticipated to be a very close matchup.

Georgia started out on vault with three 9.900s from their final three athletes. Junior Rachel Dickson took just a tiny hop on her Omelianchik to notch the first, followed by Rachael Lukacs with a near-stuck Yurchenko double full, and senior Sydney Snead anchored with a beautiful Yurchenko one-and-a-half to lead Georgia to 49.375 after one rotation. Kentucky came out strong on the uneven bars in the first rotation, taking the lead with a 49.475. The final two athletes for the Wildcats both went over 9.900, with senior Alex Hyland sticking her dismount for a 9.925 in the fifth spot and junior Mollie Korth anchoring with a huge 9.950.

Georgia moved to bars in rotation two, where they had six great routines for a big rotation after early-season struggles on this event. Snead posted a 9.925 in the third spot to set up a 9.950 for Alexa Al-Hameed in the fourth spot. Sophomore Marissa Oakley anchored the rotation with a 9.925 to give Georgia a 49.475 on the rotation. Kentucky scored a 49.25 on vault with a 9.925 from Hyland leading the way. At the halfway mark, Georgia led Kentucky 98.85 to 98.725.

The meet continued to go back in forth in the third rotation, with both teams having a few minor issues. Georgia went 49.05 on balance beam, with a solid leadoff routine from Snead for 9.875 and a beautiful anchor routine from junior Sabrina Vega for 9.925. Kentucky scored a 49.15 on floor, led by a pair of 9.875s from Hyland and Sidney Dukes. The two teams headed into the final rotation separated by just .025, making for a very exciting environment.

Sabrina Vega celebrates after performing on the floor exercise for the Georgia Bulldogs against the Kentucky Wildcats in Athens, Georgia/Georgia Athletics

Kentucky had a great final rotation on balance beam, scoring a 49.35 to close out their competition, led by a 9.950 from Dukes. The final total of 197.225 was a huge number for the Wildcats, but just not quite enough to top the Gymdogs. Georgia’s last three performers on floor all went 9.900 or better, with Lukacs scoring a 9.900, Dickson a 9.950, and Vega with a near-perfect 9.975 to give Georgia a final total of 197.3 to take home the win.

After the meet, head coach Courtney Kupets Carter commented that the three are “a great way to end a floor lineup.”

“This was an exciting meet that really came down to the end. Floor, started off a little bit slow,” said Coach Kupets Carter, in her second year. “You just see Lukacs go, and her energy was totally invested into it. But, their landings were there. They really had solid landing today, and that is what got them their scores.”

Both teams had very solid performances and have exciting meets in the future, with Georgia heading to SEC rival Florida next weekend for a blockbuster conference duel. 

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