ATHENS, Georgia — No. 5-ranked Alabama suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, falling at No. 8 Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum 197.500-196.950 in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,924.
Kim Jacob paced the Crimson Tide (3-1, 3-1 SEC) by scoring a 39.250 to win her fourth straight all-around. She shared top honors on the floor exercise with junior Diandra Milliner. Alabama’s team total was its highest score of the season despite a sub-49 score on the uneven bars.
“We didn’t perform to the best of our abilities tonight,” Tide head coach Sarah Patterson said in a news release. “We got a little behind the eight ball on the uneven bars, and they were on fire on vault. When that happens, we have to really buckle down on vault, and while we did a good job, we didn’t nail all our landings.”
Alabama scored a season-low 48.95 on the uneven bars. The Tide was led on the bars by junior Sarah DeMeo’s 9.875.
A low score wasn’t the only outcome of the Tide’s rotation through the uneven bars. Senior Ashley Sledge was pulled out of the lineup after straining her shoulders on a handstand.
“We took her out after the uneven bars,” Patterson said. “We’re very protective of her shoulders and when she finished bars and was holding them, I knew we’d hold her out the rest of the way.”
The Tide scored a 49.375 on the vault behind 9.9s from sophomore Kaitlyn Clark, senior Marissa Gutierrez and Milliner. It was the Tide’s second highest vault total of the season.
Alabama had their best rotation of the night on the floor exercise, scoring a season-best 49.475 behind career-high 9.95s from Milliner and Jacob and a 9.9 from senior Marissa Gutierrez.
“I’ve said this before, from the time that coaching staff was hired, they had this meet circled in red on their calendar,” Patterson said. “We came in with a target on our backs.”
Next, Alabama will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on No. 1-ranked Florida on Friday at 6 p.m. The Crimson Tide returns home Feb. 15 to take on the Auburn Tigers at 7:30 p.m.