No. 13 Alabama gymnastics traveled to Lexington, KY to compete against No. 10 Kentucky Friday night.  The Crimson Tide scored above a 197 for the first time this season but its 197.325 wasn't enough to defeat the Wildcat's record-setting 197.825. Alabama started the meet off strong but faced adversity down the stretch which ended up being too much to overcome.

After posting its lowest team score on the uneven bars, the Crimson Tide scored its season best 49.625 on the event. Lilly Hudson led off and set the bar high with a 9.875. After a pair of 9.850's, Cam Machado scored a season high 9.950.

Makarri Doggette returned to the lineup after missing last week with a rolled ankle and didn't disappoint. The senior scored a perfect 10, the second of her career, and the first 10 for the Crimson Tide since she and Luisa Blanco scored 10's in the 2021 NCAA Regionals.  Blanco anchored the bar line up with a 9.950.

Doggette continued her momentum on the vault and tied her career best 9.925. Alabama improved its overall vault score from the previous week, but Kentucky was able to close the lead to just .050. The Crimson Tide led 98.875-98.825 at the midway point of the meet.

Mati Waligora led off on floor with a solid 9.850 for Bama; however, Machado stepped out of bounds on the next routine and scored a 9.550. Shania Adams righted the ship for the Crimson Tide, earning a 9.825. Freshman Gabby Gladieux scored a 9.900 in the four spot before Hudson performed her Alabama remix floor routine and earned a 9.925. With the lead on the line, Blanco took the floor. In an uncharacteristic mistake, Blanco messed up the landing on one of her tumbling passes and had to take a few extra steps which cost valuable tenths of a point. She scored a 9.775 which was better than Machado's score, but not what the team needed in order to maintain its lead over the Wildcats. Bama trailed 148.150 to Kentucky's 148.275.

Ella Burgess, who is normally a solid lead off beam worker, couldn't keep her balance after her side ariel which caused her to fall off the balance beam. Having the leadoff gymnast fall puts enormous pressure on the rest of the lineup, especially in a meet as close as the one Alabama was in. Freshman Rachel Rybicki made her collegiate debut in arguably the most crucial moment of the meet. While she had a major balance break, Rybicki managed to stay on the beam and finished her routine with a stuck landing. She scored a 9.700. Waligora followed the freshman with a 9.750. Gladieux came up big for the Tide scoring a 9.875. Hudson followed up Gladieux's routine with a stunning beam performance, capped off with a stuck landing which earned her a 9.950. Anchoring the beam lineup, Blanco performed like she had ice in her veins. The seasoned veteran scored a 9.950 which solidified Bama's first overall score of 197+ of the season.

Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum Feb. 3 for its annual Power of Pink Meet against Auburn. The meet starts at 6:30 p.m. CT and will air on the SEC Network.

Follow @julietbrowntv on twitter to stay up to date on Alabama gymnastics!

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