By (Terrin Waack)

The Alabama gymnastics team faced two breaks on the uneven bars during its first rotation Friday night. The gymnasts looked to each other and tried to shake it off, but ultimately, the No. 3 Crimson Tide lost to No. 4 LSU, 197.925 to 196.225.

“They had these mistakes that were like a waterfall effect,” Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said. “Is it mental toughness, is it fatigue? I’m going to have really look at the videos to see what happened, but it could be just one off night and we’re moving on.”

Alabama finished the night with two events scoring under 49. It had a 48.825 on the uneven bars and a 48.775 on the balance beam. After the uneven bars, Alabama moved to the vault where it scored a 49.225 and then the floor exercise where it scored a 49.400.

“I think this was not a good thing, obviously, but we can definitely learn from this,” sophomore Nickie Guerrero said. “We’ve had a pretty consistent season and we’re pretty fortunate for that because that doesn’t happen a lot, especially this year with the teams that have really been increasing their scores.”

Alabama went into the meet excited. Its word of the week was class and freshman Ari Guerra said no matter what happened, Alabama was going to have class throughout the meet. With Guerrero by her side, the two did whatever they could to keep their team from getting down on itself.

Guerra said she looks at her teammates before any performance. They’re all she needs.

“You just look at your teammates and stay focused on your teammates,” she said. “You don’t care what everybody else is doing. You have just have to be focused on your team, and that’s it.”

Alabama finished the meet off on the balance beam where it faced two falls from senior Lauren Beers and junior Katie Bailey. Guerrero anchored for the Crimson Tide, scoring a 9.900.

She didn’t let the previous falls and mistakes get to her. Unlike Guerra, Guerrero doesn’t look at the people around her, instead she looks into the crowd, soaks in all the chaos and focuses on herself alone.

“You can’t focus on the little things on the beam, that’s when you start shaking and that’s when you fall,” Guerrero said. “When you know that you can hit, just reassuring yourself, you know you’re just going to kill it. I’ve really learned that about myself. If I just keep telling myself that nothing is going to stop me, then that’s what happens.”

Guerrero isn’t happy that the team lost – she said she hates losing – but she strongly believes Alabama can learn from Friday’s loss and better prepare the team for its upcoming meets.

Although Friday night’s meet was also Alabama’s last regular season meet, its season isn’t over. Up next, it’ll head to the SEC Championships.

“When you have a bad day, it happens because we’re human, right? But it really enables you to know what a good day feels like,” Duckworth said. “This was a bad day. I look forward to a good day.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports