PHOTO CREDIT: Erin Long/UAA Communications

No. 3 Gators gymnastics hosts No. 7 Georgia for rivalry week

Rivalry week is an annual expectation for No. 3 Florida (5-1, 5-0 SEC) and No. 7 Georgia (5-3, 3-2 SEC) gymnastics, as it’s the longest standing rivalry in the program’s 47-year history. However, this year’s edition has a familial twist.

That’s right: Sisters Alyssa Baumann of Florida and Rachel Baumann of Georgia will compete against each other for the first time in sister and school history.

But aside from family matters, Florida still has an untarnished SEC record to protect.

Florida’s challenges

The tough fought road win at Alabama hardly dulled Florida’s spark. They’ll look to repeat the same success back home against a tougher Georgia team.

Georgia hits the road looking to extend a three-game winning streak, with wins against Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri.

A third all-around win at Alabama earned Trinity Thomas her fourth SEC Freshman of the Week, after nailing her performances on vault and floor at the Alabama meet. How’d she do it? She matched her collegiate best on vault with a 9.9 and a second consecutive 9.975 on floor.

In her quest to return to all-around, Alyssa Baumann made her season debut on vault and earned a collegiate-best 9.875. But beam runs strong between Alyssa and Rachel. In Georgia’s weakest event, freshman Rachel ranks third with a season-best 9.9, while Alyssa leads Florida with a season-best 9.975.

Despite Florida having the upper hand in every event, its No. 6 ranking in vault compared to Georgia’s No. 3 is troubling. Vault is Georgia’s strongest event, with junior Rachel Dickson leading the team with a near perfect 9.975. Meanwhile, Florida’s season-best is courtesy of Alicia Boren, who leads with a 9.925.

That said, Florida leads the country in floor, and holds a steady second in both beam and bars. Excelling in these events will be crucial to Florida’s mission of clinching a share of the SEC season title.

Catch the Action

No. 3 Florida will face No. 7 Georgia at the O’Connell Center on Feb. 22 at 6:45 p.m.

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