No. 16 Tigers Welcome No. 10 Alabama in Home Opener
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
The No. 16 Auburn gymnastics team kicks off its 2020 home schedule against its biggest rival, hosting No. 10 Alabama at 8 p.m. CT in Auburn Arena. The two teams will go head-to-head live on SEC Network as part of a gymnastics tripleheader.
The Tigers are looking forward to the advantages a home crowd brings and is expecting another sellout with a great atmosphere.
“We get a significant home advantage when we pack Auburn Arena,” head coach Jeff Graba said. “However, teams like Alabama can handle a loud, crazy atmosphere so we have to get ourselves ready to go and really feed off the energy of our fans Friday night.”
“Friday night is going to be fun,” senior Emma Slappey added. “Nothing gets our team pumped up more than a sellout crowd in Auburn Arena. We really need to bring it and we know our fans can help us do that.”
Auburn is hoping to build off what it learned from its season opener last week in Anaheim and to narrow in on the small things to bring about a big score.
“The mindset is to focus on each skill,” senior Gracie Day said. “If you hit each skill, you hit each routine and that is what it comes down to. The first time in front of your home crowd is really exciting and we’re all looking forward to being at home this week against our biggest rival.”
It’s the annual All Auburn, All Orange meet and fans are encouraged to wear orange Friday night. All fans in attendance will receive an orange shaker and the first 700 students will receive an orange Auburn gymnastics t-shirt when they arrive.
New to the meet production is that fans can help light up Auburn Arena using War Eagle Lights through the Auburn Athletics App. More information can be found HERE.
In addition, seating has changed this season as the entire 100 level is now reserved. Fans who buy a general admission ticket may sit in the 200 level or can be in the Standing Room Only locations.
More information on seating and parking can be found at the Auburn Gymnastics Meet Day website by clicking HERE.
A pair of Tigers will represent Auburn in the all-around Friday against Alabama in junior Drew Watson and freshman Cassie Stevens. This will be Watson’s first appearance in the all-around this season, but the Tyler, Texas, product is no stranger to the task. She has competed in the all-around 20 times during her career and set a career high in the category last season vs. Arkansas with a 39.625. The all-around slot for Stevens is the first of her career.
Auburn kicks things off on vault in rotation one with five of its six competitors capable of a 10.0 start value. Senior Skyler Sheppard leads things off with junior Jada Glenn following. Senior Gracie Day, who will make her team-best 42nd start in the event, is slated to go third with Stevens and Watson following. The 2019 NCAA Co-Champion in the event in sophomore Derrian Gobourne will anchor.
The Tigers move on to bars in the second rotation and Stevens is set to lead off. It’ll be the Phoenix product’s first appearance in the bars line up. She will be followed by a pair of classmates in Adeline Sabados and Aria Brusch. The duo opened their careers off strong last week, scoring a 9.8 and 9.85 in the event, respectively. Watson and Day will go fourth and fifth and Gobourne will once again anchor.
Senior Emma Slappey, who is coming of a 9.8 in the event last week, will open rotation three for Auburn on beam. Brusch and Stevens follow with junior Meredith Sylvia set to go fourth. Sylvia has competed on beam every meet since her freshman season. Watson will go fifth and Sheppard will anchor for the second-straight meet.
The final rotation has the Tigers on floor with Slappey once again leading off. Stevens and Brusch close out their busy evenings in spots two and three with Watson in the fourth slot. Sheppard follows and Gobourne will close out the night with her energetic routine in the anchor spot.
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