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Georgia Defeats Missouri to Kickstart 2021 Season

12 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: Georgia Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. -The University of Georgia 10th-ranked GymDogs kicked off the 2021 season in an exciting fashion, defeating No. 16 Missouri, 196.150-194.250, at home in Stegeman Coliseum Friday night.

"The first meet is always helpful," Georgia head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. "You try to replicate it as best you can, but there is no way to do that just competing. This meet was really big for us to get out there, perform, [and to] feel what the new environment would be like and get their new routines out. The biggest part of tonight that made me so proud is that they stayed connected. That was our goal going in. You have to create the energy and atmosphere for yourselves, and when you stay connected, you're stronger as a team. We saw that all the way through. Whether there were mistakes or not, they continued to work together as a team, and that will propel them for next week going down to Florida."

The GymDogs began competition on vault where they posted a 48.875. Junior Mikayla Magee propelled herself to a career-high 9.925 to lead the team. Junior Rachel Baumann scored a 9.775, while freshman Victoria Nguyen finished with a 9.750. Wrapping up on vault for Georgia was junior Abbey Ward (9.725) and Haley De Jong (9.700).

During the second rotation of the night, Georgia was impressive on bars as the team posted a 49.325, the team's highest score of the night and best bar mark since the 2019 season. In her freshman debut, Texas native Nguyen displayed an impressive bar performance to score a 9.950, the GymDogs' top score of the event. Following Nguyen was senior Marissa Oakley with a 9.900 and junior Megan Roberts with a 9.875. De Jong and sophomore Amanda Cashman rounded out Georgia's top five on bars with respective marks of 9.850 and 9.750.

Next on beam, Magee and Nguyen continued to shine as they scored 9.850 apiece to lead Georgia in the event. Junior Alyssa Perez-Lugones made her beam debut and notched a 9.800, while De Jong and Oakley finished with scores of 9.700 and 9.675, respectively.

Georgia scored a 49.075 on floor to finish the first meet of the 2021 season. Baumann was the top scorer with a 9.875, while Nguyen once again found herself in the top two with a 9.850. Magee and sophomore Soraya Hawthorne added 9.825 apiece, with senior Sterlyn Austin rounding out the final event with a 9.700.

The GymDogs hit the road next as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators, Friday, Jan. 15. Georgia returns home to Stegeman Coliseum Friday, Jan. 29, against Arkansas. The meet is slated for 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.