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<p>Kennedy Baker performs on the balance beam during Florida's 197.20-195.65 win against Auburn on Jan. 16 in the O'Connell Center.</p>

Kennedy Baker performs on the balance beam during Florida's 197.20-195.65 win against Auburn on Jan. 16 in the O'Connell Center.

If Rhonda Faehn were evaluating the contents of a glass half-filled with water, she would likely point out that the water vapor in the air-filled half means the glass is more than half-full.

In other words, Faehn is an positive person, and she’s choosing to use that glass-half-full attitude when it comes to her gymnastics team.

Then-No. 1 Florida (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) suffered its first loss of the season Friday night at then-No. 7 Alabama (2-1, 1-1 SEC), a defeat brought on by numerous errors and an overall timidness from Faehn’s perspective.

Faehn was frustrated after the loss, but on Monday she stressed the positives the team can take away from an otherwise negative situation.

"I just felt that this is something that we need to look back, watch our video footage and recognize that it’s just one step." she said. "It’s one competition in a string of many competitions to be able to grow from and to learn from so we can perform better."

Competing in the atmosphere at Alabama was the most important part of the meet for Faehn, win or lose, and she said the team needed to get used to handling the pressure in that type of environment.

One such example was Florida’s beam routine during its final rotation.

With the Gators needing a number of high scores to keep any hope of a win alive, freshman Kennedy Baker led off the lineup with a fall — something Faehn said she has never seen from the freshman.

But even though the rest of the team’s beam scores were not enough to challenge for the win, Faehn was impressed with how all five gymnasts who followed Baker were able to handle the pressure of knowing the team couldn’t afford another big mistake.

"They responded well," Faehn said.

"Again, it is a learning process, we have three freshmen up in that lineup with Bridget (Sloan) being injured."

Sloan’s injury is another negative situation which Faehn has used in a positive way.

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Sloan has been out since Florida’s season-opener against Ball State, but Friday was the first time the Gators competed without her present at a competition — the junior stayed in Gainesville to continue rehabbing her ankle.

Faehn has taken that void and given younger gymnasts the opportunity to become leaders on the team, and they have responded.

"(Sophomore) Claire Boyce has really stepped up, not only gymnastically but also leadership-wise," she said. "I really also feel that a couple of our freshman are really stepping up."

The trick now for the Gators will be taking what they have learned from the Alabama meet and using it in their preparation for this week’s meet against Georgia and other difficult competitions ahead.

"I would love to see this week just really, again, great, aggressive training and really focusing in on not focusing in on the things they can’t control and things on the outside," Faehn said.

"When times are challenging with injuries and different lineups, they have to just trust one another and really trust that their talent level and that their training they’ve put in so far will produce great results."

 Follow Graham Hack on Twitter @graham_hack24

Kennedy Baker performs on the balance beam during Florida's 197.20-195.65 win against Auburn on Jan. 16 in the O'Connell Center.

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