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Monday, March 04, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Gators win NCAA Regional, advance to semifinals

<p>Alex McMurtry performs on floor during Florida's loss to LSU on Feb. 26, 2016 in the O'Connell Center.</p>

Alex McMurtry performs on floor during Florida's loss to LSU on Feb. 26, 2016 in the O'Connell Center.

The Gators are now one step away from their fifth-straight Super Six.

With a score of 196.725, Florida (10-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) won Saturday night’s NCAA Minneapolis Regional and will be among the 12 teams advancing to the NCAA Semifinals in two weeks.

The win wasn’t up to the team’s normal high standards, however, as UF scored its second-lowest score of the season, higher than only its 196.35 in a loss at Georgia on Feb. 5.

But the victory was never in question.

Florida finished a full 0.550 ahead of Minnesota, who finished second with a 196.175, and even further ahead of third-place Missouri’s 195.850. Both teams will join the Gators in the semifinals in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 15.

The only somewhat pivotal moment of the meet came in the third rotation, Florida’s second event, when freshman Alicia Boren suffered a fall on beam.

The mistake followed earlier lackluster performances in the event and put the pressure on the team’s final two competitors.

Luckily for the Gators, those competitors were sophomore McMurtry and senior Bridget Sloan, who followed up the fall with a 9.925 and 9.950, respectively.

Those were Florida’s only two scores that passed the 9.9 mark, however, and the team’s 49.300 on beam was UF’s highest rotation score.

After a bye of the first rotation, the Gators opened their night with a 49.125 on bars, led by McMurtry’s 9.875.

After beam and another bye, they scored a disappointing 49.075 on floor, which saw usual standouts Sloan and sophomore Kennedy Baker post 9.750s. Boren led the team with a 9.850.

Florida finished out the meet with a 49.225 on vault, led by 9.900s from McMurtry and Boren.

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Despite an uncharacteristic night by Sloan, the senior still managed to win the all-around title with a 39.375.

McMurtry and Boren shared the vault title with Iowa State’s Meaghan Sievers, McMurtry shared the bars title with Minnesota’s Lindsay Mable and Sloan won the beam title.

Contact Graham Hack at ghack@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @graham_hack24

Alex McMurtry performs on floor during Florida's loss to LSU on Feb. 26, 2016 in the O'Connell Center.

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