By: Adam Hambright

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Ashley Johnston recorded a victory in her head coaching debut, as Alabama defeated Michigan State.

The Spartans attempted to ruin the homecoming and were only down by .175 heading into the last rotation.  Alabama finished strong on floor and won the meet 196.975-196.550.  Alabama’s score of 196.975 is the second-highest score in a season opener in program history.  When asked about the emotions after her first win at her alma mater – she couldn’t help but show her excitement.

“I actually feel really calm – this feels like home to me,” said Johnston

Makarri Doggette looked very comfortable coming off an injury. that injury limited her in the late stages of the 2022 season.  Doggette competed in the all-around for the first time in two years and was not originally scheduled to compete in the all-around .

Coach Johnston made the decision after three events to allow her to compete on the floor exercise.  Doggette posted the high score on vault and uneven bars with a 9.9 in each event.

”It means more when you’ve been through so much and then you get to go back out there and just show everybody what you’ve been working so hard for,” Doggette said.

Luisa Blanco also had a strong performance for Alabama tonight.  Blanco won the all-around with a score of 39.575 and saved her best for last as she posted the highest score of the night with a 9.925 on floor.

Alabama will travel to Fayetteville next Friday as the Crimson Tide takes on the Razorbacks at 7:30pm on the SEC Network.