The No. 7 Tigers take on Georgia in Athens on Friday night

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AUBURN, Ala. –Auburn’s No. 7 gymnastics team hits the road in Southeastern Conference action, facing Georgia Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum. The Tigers and Bulldogs face off at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

“We can’t wait to compete in Georgia,” the head coach said. Jeff Graba noted. “It’s a team that’s starting to find its rhythm. The goal is to bring in a few more people to gain experience and work on our depth. When we’re on the road and focused, we have to do the work that we are there to do and I hope we will come away with a good score and a victory.”

Auburn is looking to find success in Athens as the team has won only once against the Bulldogs on the road.

“It’s a tough place to compete and there’s a lot of history in the program,” Graba said. “Of course we want to win, but we also want to make sure we come away with a good score on the road which will help set us up for success on the road.”

“We have proven that we are a good team that can always score well,” junior Piper Smith noted. “Now it’s time for us to make those small decisions that will propel us to the next level no matter where we compete. We’re really excited for Friday to see what we can do in a tough environment.”

AUBURN RANGE

Depth and experience with a mix of new talent is what the Tigers will bring to the table.

The Tigers kick off the bars encounter in the first rotation. The team ranks 11th nationally in the event this season.

Auburn’s top eight for bars includes fifth grade Drew Watson and senior Derrian Gobourne. First-year student Sunisa Lee is 11th nationally in the event with a 10.0 under his belt.

junior Adeline Sabados, Piper Smith and Cassie Stevens are also in the top eight, while sophomores Gabby McLaughlin and freshman Sophie Groth both have the potential to compete.

The team heads to the jump for the second rotation and places seventh nationally in the event.

Auburn will once again be led by Watson and Gobourne. Lee, Groth and freshman Sarah Hubbard are also prepared to provide large safes, while Smith, Stevens and sophomore Tara Walsh also worked to get on the list.

Auburn goes to ground for the third rotation and the team is ninth nationally with an average of 49.321. Gobourne leads the team on floor with a score of 9.921, while Lee and Groth are also in the top 50 nationally.

Watson and Stevens are also among the team’s top competitors. Hubbard, Jr. Morgan Leigh Oldham and freshman Ananda Brown are about to compete for a starting spot.

The Tigers close out the competition on beam where the team is second in the nation at 49.388.

Groth and Smith are among the top 15 in the nation in this event, while Lee and McLaughlin each have a 9.975 rating this season. Stevens comes out of a 9.95 and sophomore Olivia Hollingsworth has led the last five meetings. Fifth year Allie Riddle debuts in the top eight, while Oldham is also on the list.

FOLLOWING

The Tigers return to Auburn Arena next Friday, hosting No. 10 Kentucky on Feb. 25. The two teams will face off at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

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