UK gymnastics dominates to end losing streak


Kentucky celebrates after competing during Excite Night, a competition against Southeast Missouri State, George Washington and Ball State on Friday, January 5, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won first place with a score of 196.075. Photo by Olivia Beach | Staff

Mohammad Ahmad

The No. 9 UK gymnastics team ended its three-game losing streak on Friday night. UK defeated the No. 20 Missouri Tigers at Memorial Coliseum 197.100-195.125.

1.975 points is the highest margin of victory for Kentucky this season. Their score of 197.1 marks the second time this season that they’ve scored that high.

This marks the third time in school history that the Wildcats scored more than 197 points.

“Consistency is what created the win. We need that same consistency moving forward to create more wins,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “Their confidence showed up when the time was right.”

Alex Hyland won three individual events on Friday night. She won every event except for the bars, and she was the only all-around player deployed by Garrison.

Hyland has won or tied all but one beam event this season. The defending SEC bar champion has now won 16 beam events in her career.

On the vault, Hyland pulled out her second career win in that event. Hyland, who had a 9.875, shared the title with Katie Stuart. Stuart’s co-title on the vault tonight is also the third match in a row that she led or tied for the team individual lead.

“Rather than prove others, we needed to prove to ourselves what we are capable of. We did that, and It’s a great feeling that we’re going to hold on to,” Stuart said.

As a team, Kentucky had one of its more notable performances on the bars. The team’s 49.300 total is their second-highest ever bar score in team history. It is also the second time they have done that this year.

Mollie Korth won her second bars title this season with a 9.925. That ties her career high on the bars, and she now has eight bars titles in her career.

The floor was also a high point for the Cats. They had their highest team total this year with 49.400 points. While Hyland won the event for with a 9.925, her new career high, fellow veteran Sidney Dukes added on. Dukes had a 9.9 on the floor for the third time this season.

A new face helped contribute to the team-high on the floor. Walk-on freshman Megan Monfredi competed for the first time this season. She scored a 9.8 on the floor.

The team came into the match on a losing streak, but Dukes said that had little to do with their mindset and motivation.

“We’re more focused on getting the scores we need and competing well in the SEC. Tonight we just came in with a fun mindset,” Dukes said.

The team’s next match is back at Memorial Coliseum next Friday, March 2, against the Ohio State Buckeyes.