LIVE BLOG: No. 20 N.C. State at No. 5 Auburn

Both Auburn and N.C. State had season highs last week which, thanks to many teams not having the best outing, allowed both the Tigers and the Wolfpack to move up in the rankings. Auburn will be looking to use the 197.500 home opening score from last week as a building block for this meet. N.C. State put up a strong 196.650 last week and will be looking to carry the momentum from that home meet to Auburn where the Wolfpack has the opportunity to take advantage of the SEC environment to potentially get a strong road score. 

The trio of Emily Shepard, Lauren Rutherford and Chloe Negrete has been a big part of the early season success for the Wolfpack. In just her third meet back Negrete posted 9.9s on all three of her signature events so look out for her throughout the meet. Auburn has yet to really hit its stride on beam like last season, and part of that can be seen in the inconsistent dismounts with the rule change. Sophia Groth has switched her beam dismount a couple of times which has hindered her score on that event so keep your eyes peeled on her dismount today.

Rotation 1: Auburn vault, N.C. State bars

Hollingsworth (AUB): Stuck her Yurchenko full. She was slightly off to the side, but in between the lines and did not move her feet. 9.8

Merchant (NCS): Leg separation on both the Maloney and Pak. A little short on both the cast half and the last handstand. She stuck the double layout dismount though. 9.775

Groth (AUB): Solid Yurchenko full, not the best height and had more pike down than her typical. A small hop back as well. 9.75

Childs (NCS): Low on the jaeger. Low on the bail. Hit the last handstand and stuck the double tuck dismount after the giant full. 9.775

Hubbard (AUB): Big step after the Yurchenko 1.5. Those were really two large steps. Some knees throughout. 9.8

Adomaites (NCS): Good first handstand. Legs together on both the Maloney and Pak, but there was a bit of an arch on the Pak. Just short on the last handstand. Missed the landing of the dismount, but it seemed solid. 9.75

Gobourne (AUB): Just the slightest hop forward on her Yurchenko 1.5. The same small form things. 9.875

Ortega (NCS): Big Hindorff, some feetand bent elbows on the regrasp. Hit both the bail and the last handstand. Rocked the landing of the double layout dismount. 9.85

Stevens (AUB): Stuck the Yurchenko 1.5. Some knees throughout. That is probably why she was moved back in this lineup. 9.925

Shepard (NCS): Good finish position on the giant half. The jaeger was a little low and caught close. She missed the cast half after the Pak and had to re cast. She hit the dismount though. 9.8

Lee (AUB): Similar to last week on her half on tucked half off where she thought she stuck it and was so excited that she hopped backwards. 9.85

Rutherford (NCS): Big Ray. Great position on the bail to toe shoot. Great toe point throughout. A small hop back on the double layout dismount. 9.825

NCS Exhibition: (They did not say who it was) Flexed feet on the Ray. Hit the bail though. Short on the last handstand. Did not get the double layout dismount all the way around and had a sizeable step forward.

After 1: Auburn 49.250, N.C. State 49.025

N.C. State will be happy with the progress on landing control this week with multiple stuck landings. Auburn also got a couple sticks here, but also had some bigger landing deductions that stopped the Tigers from getting a huge score.

Rotation 2: N.C. State vault, Auburn bars

Diaz (NCS): Great landing on the Yurchenko full. Some flexed feet throughout and had a small pike down and scooch back of the feet. 9.775

Hollingsworth (AUB): Great first handstand. Leg separation on the Maloney and hits the bail. Slight waiver in the back on the last handstand and a small hop on the full twisting double back dismount. 9.8

Zultevicz (NCS): Started twisting early on that full and had some pike down and a hop back. 9.775

McLaughlin (AUB): The slightest leg separation on both the Maloney and Pak. A little bit short on the giant full, but sticks the double tuck dismount. Good toe point throughout. 9.8

Ortega (NCS): Seems to whip that full around and had to hop to the side upon landing. Similar height as the first two. 9.7

Groth (AUB): Great height and distance on the Ray. Solid Pak and hit the handstand on the cast half. Finished the giant full pretty on top on the bar and stuck the double tuck dismount. Really nice routine. 9.85

Rutherford (NCS): Stuck her Yurchenko full. Pretty good body position throughout with only the slightest pike at the end. 9.775

Stevens (AUB): Big Ray. A little feet form on both that and the bail. Whips her double layout dismount a little bit, but stuck the dismount. Great landings for Auburn so far. I am pleasantly surprised by the calm scoring. 9.85

Shepard (NCS): Starts turning on the table a little which limited the height on her full, but she only had small movement on the feet upon landing. 9.85

Gobourne (AUB): Does her big Tkatchev but does not connect it right into the Pak like normal. The Pak still looked good and she hit the cast half. She stuck the full twisting double back dismount with her typical foot stagger.

Negrete (NCS): Flairs out her full and had the smallest scooch back. She had the most distance on her full in this lineup. 9.85

It seems like there is a judges conference over Gobourne’s score. Likely due to not connecting the first two releases. Lee just did a back walkover on the mat while waiting for the conference to be over. The score is in 9.825.

Lee (AUB): Good first handstand. Huge jaeger to Pak to Maloney to geinger. All great with the legs glued together, She had a small hop on the dismount after a solid giant full. 9.95

This rotation is wrapping up with a couple of exhibitions.

After 2: Auburn 98.525, N.C. State 98.050

Auburn had some great bars routines in that rotation and I am surprised that home scoring did not have that rotation closer to the 49.500 mark. Auburn is still at 197 pace. N.C State did not have a bunch of sticks, but there were multiple very solid landings.

Rotation 3: Auburn beam, N.C. State floor

Hollingsworth (AUB): Solid full turn to start. Seemed off on the loso series, but kept it to a small wobble. Changed the leap series to switch half to split jump to beat jump. Sizable wobble on that side aerial, but stays on the beam. Leans to hold the stick on floor. 9.85

Diaz (NCS): Slide back on the opening double pike. Solid leaps. Controlled the landing on the front layout to front full. Jumped into the lunge out of the double tuck. 9.775

Brusch (AUB): Smooth connection with the front aerial to split jump. Solid loso series. Hit the switch to straddle quarter. Stuck the gainer full off the side. Solid routine. 9.9

Benson (NCS): Big double pike and has a slide back on the landing almost identical to Diaz’s landing. The wolf full to Popa was around. Just a small step forward on the back 1.5 to front pike. A second leap series with a switch side to Popa that was controlled. Good control on the double tuck to finish. 9.775

Stevens (AUB): Solid on the bhs loso loso series, but knees throughout. Solid split jump to stag jump. Hit the Stevens and wolf turn. Sticks the back 1.5 dismount, but has momentum forward on that landing. 9.9

Zultevicz (NCS): Slightly off on the punch from the back 2.5 to front tuck, but pulls it around and controls the landing. Sky high double tuck that was stuck and then she lunged. 9.8

Groth (AUB): Almost looked off in the middle of the bhs loso bhs series, but lands it solidly. Does not land the switch to switch half well though as she had a large leg up break after the switch half. A deep landing on her side aerial to 1.5 dismount with a huge lunge forward. Auburn will want to drop this one. 9.575

Rutherford (NCS): Solid landing on the back 2.5 twist. I feel like she used to punch out of that too, but she did not here. Tries to do the 2.5 to punch front again at the end and misses the punch to the front tuck and sits it down.

McLaughlin (AUB): Very solid on the switch to bhs to loso. Lean and foot up on the beat jump to side aerial. A little bit rattled. Came back strong on the switch to straddle quarter. Stuck the gainer pike dismount. Came back well after that side aerial which she almost had, but just doubted herself. 9.8

There is a judges conference for Rutherford. Likely due to repeating the back 2.5. 8.675 is the score.

Shepard (NCS): Clean double pike, but there is a little lean on the landing. Clean leap series. Great landing on the front layout to Rudi. Great double tuck and jumps into the lunge position there. 9.775

Lee (AUB): Clean on the double wolf. Good split jump to sissone. Little lean on the end of the switch to switch half. Very solid side aerial loso loso series. Does a repeat of her dismount last week where she almost sticks the tucked gainer full off the end and then steps forward to salute. She will not be on floor so this is the end of her night. 9.9

Negrete (NCS): The Gymnasties were stealing the attention in the beginning. Good height on the double pike with a solid landing. Great landing on the front full to front layout. My stream of course buffers during the leap series. Solid landing on the double tuck, just some flexed feet. 9.875

More exhibitions to end out this rotation. Auburn is taking advantage of this meet being on SEC+ and not SECN. And almost fall on beam. Not great first landing on floor.

After 3: Auburn 147.875, N.C. State 147.050

N.C. State was able to come back strong from the mid rotation struggle from Rutherford. Auburn was looking like it would have a huge beam rotation through the first three gymnasts, but the beamers in the second half of the rotation had more tentative routines that kept that score lower than it could have been.

Rotation 4: N.C. State beam, Auburn floor

Diaz (NCS): Good full turn to open. Connected the front aerial to bhs. Soft knees. A little tight on the switch to split jump. A little check after the cat leap to switch half. Solid landing on the back tucked 1.5 dismount. 9.775

Brusch (AUB): Slight slide back on the landing of the front tuck through to double tuck. Great amplitude on the jump combo. Low chest on the double pike, but controls the step back. 9.775

Jennings (NCS): Clean full turn to open. Off on the end of the bhs bhs loso series. Comes back strong with the switch to tuck 3/4. The slightest step forward on the back 1.5 dismount where it looked like she did not need to take the step. 9.05

McLaughlin (AUB): Missed the first pass as they showed an interview at the same time. Not all the way around on her leap. Very solid landing of the double pike at the end. 9.8

Zultevicz (NCS): Tight on the loso series, but does not give anything away. Solid on the switch to split jump. Connects the cat leap to side aerial to sissone. Sticks the landing of the back 1.5 dismount. Solid routine after the fall. 9.825

Groth (AUB): A little under rotated on the front double full, but stays on her feet. Clean landing on the back 1.5 to front layout. High Rudi with a slight bounce out of it. Good comeback after a not great beam and a fall on floor last week. 9.825

Ortega (NCS): Connects the L turn to split jump to open. Big leg up wobble after the bhs Onodi series, but stays on. Solid leaps. Step forward out of the front handspring. Sticks the gainer pike dismount. 9.75

Hollingsworth (AUB): Lifts up the front leg after the half in half out. Great control on the switch half to Popa. Bounce back out of the front tuck to double tuck. Not the same landing control that she had last week. 9.575

Shepard (NCS): Solid switch to straddle quarter to start. Lean on the loso series. She was tentative going into it. Great side aerial landing. Hop forward on the side aerial to back 1.5 dismount. 9.825

Stevens (AUB): Good control on the front layout to Rudi. Around on the leaps. Very strong landing on the double tuck. The commentators were mentioning a double layout, but she is never that high on her double tuck so I don’t think that is true. 9.925

Negrete (NCS): Smooth front aerial to bhs series. Slow connections in the cat leap to switch half to beat jump combination. It looks like she stuck the double full dismount, but the camera didn’t show her feet to know for sure. 9.9

Gobourne (AUB): The crowd is really giving the adoration at the beginning of this routine. Great landing on the open double tuck. Great height and solid landing on the leaps. Really rises on the front layout after the front full. Very solid landing on the double pike. Great routine. 9.975

The exhibition has to go on while the crowd got excited when one judge flashed a 10. She had a couple of breaks throughout. An out of bounds on the floor exhibition.

FINAL: Auburn 197.175, N.C. State 196.125

N.C. State will be happy with the consistent performance this week and getting a road 196 score. Auburn will look at the positives in the front half of the beam lineup and the stuck landings on bars and beam, and will plan to drop this score later on.

VT: Stevens 9.925
UB: Lee 9.95
BB: Brusch, Stevens, Lee, Negrete 9.9
FX: Gobourne 9.975
AA: Stevens 39.6

READ THIS NEXT: The NCAA Report Card: January 20, 2023

Live blog by Alyssa Van Auker

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