AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn gymnastics team opened its home slate in Auburn Arena Friday night with a season high to top Missouri, 196.625-194.875. The Tigers improved to 2-2 on the year with a 1-0 mark in Southeastern Conference action.
"Honestly, I'm really excited about our performance tonight," head coach Jeff Graba said. "I thought the girls brought a lot of energy tonight and handled the crowd really well. We were in some tough spots at times, and I thought they did a great job of gritting their teeth, getting through it and doing the best they can. All of that stuff is going to come in handy these next few weeks.
"I told the team in the huddle that they made the coaches look like idiots because the exhibition routines were hitting on all cylinders," Grada added. "I have some tough decisions to make this week, but I'm excited to keep coaching these guys, they're a lot of fun."
Another great crowd was on hand to see the Tigers earn their best score of the year so far.
""The support we get here in Auburn is unbelievable," Graba said. "It's not just how many of our fans show up and how many of our students show up. It's about how they know what they're talking about. They're real energetic, they're loud and they're crazy. It makes for a great environment here which makes it fun."
The Tigers started the meet with a season-high score of 49.075 on vault. Sophomore Gracie Day won the event with a 9.875 for a season high. Freshmen Jada Glenn and Drew Watson finished with a 9.85 and 9.825, respectively. Glenn's score came in as a season high for the young Tiger. Junior Taylor Krippner received a 9.775, while classmate A'Miracal Phillips earned a 9.75.
Auburn continued the meet, earning season-high 49.300 on bars. Sophomore Kendal Moss achieved a career-high in her specialty with a score of 9.9. The judges gave junior Samantha Cerio the same score and the pair went on to share the event title. Junior Abby Milliet ended up with a season-high of 9.85, while Watson and Day finished with a 9.85 and 9.8, respectively.
The third rotation had the Tigers head to beam where Auburn finished with another season best of 49.125. Milliet led all student-athletes with a career-best 9.925, while sophomore Emma Slappey chipped in a 9.825 to tie her season high. Freshman Allie Riddle led the team off in the event and the Mobile, Ala., product came away with a career-high 9.825. Cerio and Krippner closed out scoring with a 9.8 and 9.75.
The Tigers finished the night with on floor where Day guided the squad to a season-best 49.125 in the event. Day picked up her second title of the evening, scoring a career-best 9.9. Cerio picked up a 9.85, while Milliet earned a 9.825. Sophomore Katie Becker and freshman Ashley Smith added a 9.8 and 9.75 each for the squad.
Becker, of Boone, N.C., competed in the all-around for the team and came away with 38.325 for second place.
Auburn continues its SEC slate, traveling to rival Georgia next Friday, Jan. 19. The Tigers and the Bulldogs will square off at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+