LIVE BLOG: No. 4 Alabama at No. 14 Missouri

Missouri and Alabama enter week two coming off drastically different performances to start the season, with the Tigers in need of a major turnaround to be able to contend with the Crimson Tide tonight. The biggest problem for Missouri in week one was missing athletes, with star Helen Hu out for the season with an injury, Alisa Sheremeta out with COVID-related issues and Kambrie Brandt also not competing. The Tigers were only able to put up five gymnasts on vault and floor and had to count a fall on beam, contributing to Missouri posting the lowest score of all teams that competed week one.

Week one for Alabama went well, as it was able to break 49.100 on every event and got a strong all around performance out of freshman Shania Adams. Sophomore Mati Waligora also performed well on three events in her Crimson Tide debut after missing her freshman season due to injury. Depth looks like it should be a strength for Alabama this year, posting a promising score in week one with limited contributions from Shallon Olsen and Luisa Blanco, who each only competed on vault. Olsen also only vaulted a Yurchenko full instead of her typical double.

While Missouri is certainly a much better team than its opening meet suggests, it cannot afford to miss routines, as Alabama has already shown its ability to hit after a miss and could easily run away with the meet. How the Tigers are able to bounce back will be my main focus for them tonight. They have a solid chance to improve thanks to competing at home for the first time. Lineups are what to watch for with the Crimson Tide. I expect Blanco and Olsen to contribute more as the season progresses, as well as Lexi Graber, who was pulled from the beam lineup at the last second in the first meet.

Alabama giving us an early look at its leo tonight. I am a fan of this one, although it doesn’t quite live up to the stunning leo the Crimson Tide debuted last Friday.

Follow along with tonight’s meet with scores and video (SECN+).

Rotation 1: Missouri Vault, Alabama Bars

Had some delays getting my stream up on time so I missed the first few routines. My apologies! I will update scores though.

Marshall (Mizzou):  Yfull. Great height and distance, tiny bit of form errors. 9.825

Waligora (Bama): blind change, jager, nice form, bail, hop to high bar, solid handstands, full twisting double layout with a step. 9.775

McCrary (Mizzou): Yfull. Still not her 1.5. A bit piked down at the end. 9.725

Blanco (Bama): Maloney, weird leg bend but connects to pak salto, pirouette to hop to high bar, FTDT small hop. 9.850

Swanson (Mizzou): Y1.5, little shuffle forward on the landing and a slight lean as well. 9.875

Adams (Bama): Maloney to pak, done super cleanly, shaposh half also caught well, toe full to double tuck dismount, a little distanced as well. 9.925

Hufendiek (Mizzou): Yfull, lots of form errors, short, piked down. 9.600

Doggette (Bama): nice tkatchev to pak, solid pirouette, hops to high bar, double layout dismount that’s stuck!

Gaskins also in an exhibition spot for the Crimson Tide. Some little form errors but looks like a useable routine if needed as the season progresses.

In the routines I missed watching, Gottula vaulted to a 9.775 and Schrieber vaulted to a 9.725 while Machado went for a 9.750 and Graber missed for a 9.225.

After 1: Alabama 49.025, Missouri 48.925

While not at strong as last week, Alabama was able to battle back after a miss from Graber which should be encouraging. Missouri vaulted a lineup of solid fulls, just lacked some difficulty to bring in the big numbers.

Rotation 2: Alabama Vault, Missouri Bars

Quinn (Bama): Yfull, solid form in the air, slight pike at the end and a small hop back. 9.750

Hufendiek (Mizzou): mounts to the high bar, solid handstand to start, blind change to jager, flexed feet and some knees, solid bail, hops to high bar, dismounts with a giant full to double tuck, smallest of steps at the end. 9.725

Adams (Bama): Y1.5, stuck! A little lean on the landing but she finessed it to take no steps. 9.925

Christensen (Mizzou): Giant full to tkatchev, bail, a little crooked on the handstand, hops to high bar, giant full to double tuck, small slide back. 9.750

Waligora (Bama): Y1.5. Not as much height as Adams and a small slide forward as well. 9.875

Patrick (Mizzou): blind change to jager, taps her hands on the bar but doesn’t catch, remounts, bail, some messy legs, hops to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, some leg separation and a hop back. 9.075

Olsen (Bama): Yfull, small hop forward but nice in the air. 9.775

Marshall (Mizzou): blind change to jager to overshoot, solid, up to high bar, FTDT small step backwards. 9.800

Blanco (Bama): Yfull, comes in a bit short and takes a lunge and step forward. 9.700

Sheremeta (Mizzou): blind change to jager, clear hip to bail, slightly short of handstand, jumps to high bar, blind change to rudi, stuck! Finally a stuck dismount for the Tigers. 9.825

Graber (Bama): Y1.5, nearly stuck! Small lean forward into the salute. Your typical, “college stick”. 9.925

Schrieber (Mizzou): Maloney to bail, a little leg separation, jumps to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, small hop in place. 9.825

Missouri with two exhibitions on bars as well, both with falls.

Rotation 2: Alabama 49.250, Missouri 48.925

After 2: Alabama 98.275, Missouri 97.850

The Crimson Tide will be a lot happier with that rotation compared to bars, especially with only one stuck vault and an eventual upgrade from Olsen still to come in the future. Missouri yet again gets hampered on scores to not break 49.000. More than one stuck landing could’ve given them that little boost they need.

Rotation 3: Missouri Beam, Alabama Floor

McCrary (Mizzou): front toss, small wobble, BHS LOSO, another small check, full turn, just a little nervous throughout everything, split jump to double stag, most confident she’s looked so far, gainer pike dismount, stuck. 9.650

Gaskins (Bama): opens with double pike, good control on the lunge, Y turn to wolf jump full, little short on rotation, switch leap to switch half, front tuck through to double tuck, shuffles back and goes just OOB. 9.725

Schaffer (Mizzou): starts with a full turn, clean, BHS BHS LOSO, gorgeous, front aerial, small break off to the side, switch leap to split jump, RO 1.5 dismount, stuck! 9.775

Mitchell (Bama): mounts with a clean double pike, wolf jump full to wolf jump 1.5, a little off balance, solid through her leaps, dismounts with a front tuck through to double tuck, solid landing. 9.800

Sheremeta (Mizzou): beat jump to open, BHS LOSO, a little bit of bent legs in the air, split jump to ring jump, nice positions, front aerial, front toss, both with good control, full turn, gainer pike dismount, small hop in place. 9.850

Klopfer (Bama): sky high double tuck to open, tour jete full into split jump, solid, RO 1.5 punch layout, good control on the landing, double pike to close, controlled lunge. 9.825

Marshall (Mizzou): front aerial to BHS BHS, smooth through the connection, full turn, drops down low on the beam for some choreography, nice height on her leap series, front toss to beat jump, looked a little off but no wobbles, front aerial to layout half dismount, tiniest of hops in place. Interesting dismount combo there. 9.700

Olsen (Bama): last minute add to the lineups in place of Griffin James, opens with a piked full in, right on the line, looks like she may have gone just over the line, solid through her leaps, front tuck through to double tuck, low on the landing, looks like she ran out of steam at the end. 9.800

Gottula (Mizzou): BHS BHS LOSO and right off the beam she goes, hops back on quickly, full turn with a small check, straddle jump to straddle half, small wobble, cartwheel to gainer full, stuck. 9.000

Adams (Bama): perfectly stuck double pike to open, solidly through all her leaps, cleanly around, RO 1.5 to punch layout, another perfect stick, dismounts with a double tuck, a little off center, but a solid hit routine. 9.850

Schrieber (Mizzou): full turn, BHS LOSO LOSO, very pretty, some nice low beam choreography, switch half to straddle jump to beat jump to gainer full! Stuck! Great anchor routine for the Tigers. 9.850

Graber (Bama): opens with a full in, great control on the landing, clean through her leaps, front tuck through to double pike, quickly moves into choreography to hide some landing funky-ness, but another hit routine. 9.875

Routine: Missouri 48.825, Alabama 49.150

After 3: Alabama 147.425, Missouri 146.675

Another event where Missouri let tenths slip away on small mistakes that add up, and won’t be happy about another fall as well. Alabama let some tenths go with landings on floor as well, but the difference is that the Crimson Tide are getting one or two strong hits on each event, while the Tigers are struggling to find them.

Rotation 4: Alabama Beam, Missouri Floor

Klopfer (Bama): slow wolf turn to open, well control, front aerial BHS connection, beat jump to split half, moving easily throughout the routine, cat leap to side aerial, dismounts with a RO 1.5, nearly stuck but a slid back into the salute. 9.825

Gottula (Mizzou): mounts with a double tuck, bit of slide back with the front foot, trips and stumbles into her leaps but manages to get through them, wonky takeoff on her rudi and lands super low with a big lunge forward and chest down, dismounts with a double pike, opens early and lunges forward again. 9.625

Adams (Bama): split leap into front aerial, BHS LOSO, confident, double wolf turn, switch leap into beat jump, BHS 1.5 dismount, clean with just a hop forward. 9.850

Swanson (Mizzou): starts with a double pike, a little short to steps forward, switch half to wolf jump full, front double full second pass, solid landing, love seeing that as a middle pass, finishes up with a punch layout to rudi, controlled lunge back. A good hit after an opening miss to get back on track. 9.850

Waligora (Bama): full turn, BHS LOSO, way crooked and falls off, remounts, side aerial, split jump to tuck jump full, lands it but leans and falls again, RO 1.5, stuck. 8.400

Schreiber (Mizzou): double pike to open, stumbles back OOB, rudi to LOSO, a little undercut but handles it well, solid leaps to close. 9.550

Graber (Bama): BHS back layout, no problems on the landing, switch leap to straddle 3/4 and falls back, cat leap to front toss on one leg, dismounts with a stuck gainer full. 9.175

Sheremeta (Mizzou): front double full, a little low on the landing but works out of it, rudi to LOSO, much better on height, clean through the leaps, RO 1.5 to front LOSO to close. Love that closing pass. 9.800

Doggette (Bama): full turn to open, stays up on her toe nice and long, BHS LOSO, nearly a fall, fights very hard to stay on, but won’t be happy with the deductions from that, switch leap to switch half to beat jump, side aerial to layout full dismount, shuffle back. Not the routine they were looking for. 9.625

Marshall (Mizzou): mounts with front tuck through to double tuck, perfectly stuck, switch ring to switch half, good job hitting 180, RO 1.5 to front tuck, a little off center, ends with a double tuck, great control. 9.875

Blanco (Bama): some nice low beam choreography to start, Alabama really needing a hit, great front aerial, full turn, BHS LOSO, small check, switch leap to switch half, dismounts with a RO stuck double full! Finally a hit, but it may not be enough to salvage the win. 9.875

McCrary (Mizzou): front layout to rudi, good control on the landing, double pike second pass, perfectly stuck, that just gave her tons of energy, switch side to straddle full, both fully rotated. A great finish for what was an iffy meet for Missouri. 9.925

Rotation 4: Alabama 48.350, Missouri 49.075

Final: Alabama 195.775, Missouri 195.750

Well that was closer than expected! Alabama was so close to putting up a road score that would have positioned itself well when NQS takes into effect, but those two falls in the final rotation dropped them significantly lower than the initial trajectory. Props to Blanco for the clutch routine to close out the Crimson Tide’s meet though!

Missouri ended well on floor, and should be happy to have posted a score over a point higher than last week’s total. There were definitely still places where the Tigers could have even scored better, which we will hopefully get to see as the season progresses. The return of Sheremeta was key for Missouri, who will need to continue to make strides like tonight’s to be relevant in the SEC this season.

Event Winners:

All Around: Adams (Alabama) 39.475

Vault: Adams, Graber (Alabama) 9.925

Bars: Doggette (Alabama) 9.925

Beam: Blanco (Alabama) 9.875

Floor: McCrary (Missouri) 9.925

Live blog by Brandis Heffner

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