Florida was crushed after losing by 0.075 to Alabama in the NCAA Super Six.
UF, on the cusp of winning its first NCAA championship, watched as Ashley Priess’ decisive 9.95 beam routine helped the Crimson Tide best the Gators.
Tonight at 7 in the O’Connell Center, UF will have a small shot at redemption.
No. 1 Florida (4-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) matches up with No. 5 Alabama (3-1, 3-1 SEC) for the first time since that dual meet in Duluth, Ga., on April 20.
Florida is coming off its first road victory of the season after posting the NCAA’s second-highest team score of 197.575 against No. 23 Arkansas in spite of injuries to All-Americas Kytra Hunter and Alaina Johnson.
Alabama, however, travels to Gainesville following a road loss to No. 6 Georgia despite registering a season-best 196.95. The Gators represent the Crimson Tide's fifth consecutive top-25 opponent. Alabama is Florida’s second of six straight ranked opponents.
Both programs will likely fight for top places at both the SEC and NCAA Championships. The two schools have won the last four conference titles and finished first and second in last year’s Super Six.
“It’ll be a wonderful test and experience for all of our athletes even for those who aren’t on the competition floor,” coach Rhonda Faehn said. “It’s important for our team to continue to bond and to grow and to get better mentally and physically on the competition floor as the season progresses.”
Both Alabama and Florida are ranked in the top 10 nationally in all four events.
“Knowing that it is Alabama might have a little bit more pressure on some of us but it’ll be good practice,” Marissa King said.
Gymnast Marissa King does a Gator Chomp during Florida’s 197.65-196.025 win against Auburn on Jan. 25 in the O’Connell Center.