Christiansburg’s Raena Worley made a successful debut before the home folks with an all-around score of 39.250 Friday to help the Kentucky Wildcats defeat eighth-ranked Missouri.
Tenth-ranked Kentucky continued its hot start in its 2020 home opener with a 196.525-195.500 win Missouri in front of 11,952 fans on Excite Night at Rupp Arena.
The Wildcats moved to 1-1 (1-0 Southeastern Conference) on the heels of head coach Tim Garrison‘s 99th career victory while the Tigers fell to 1-2 (0-1 SEC).
“All that feels good,” Garrison said. “Getting back home, getting in Rupp Arena, Excite Night—our biggest fan-filled meet of the year—and to get a win over an SEC opponent, all feels fantastic.”
Reigning SEC Gymnast of the Week Mollie Korth earned three scores of 9.925 en route to being crowned the contest’s all-around champion for the second meet in a row with a 39.625 finish. As a team, Kentucky posted four routines that surpassed career highs and three that tied them, complemented by multiple event debuts from two different freshmen.
The first of Korth’s four event wins came on the initial rotation, where the Cats posted a vault score of 48.925. Her 9.925 anchor led the way, while junior Ella Warren reset a career high with a 9.775 consensus
Kentucky took further command of the night on the second rotation, claiming six of the top eight individual uneven bars performances for a sum of 49.175. Korth (9.925) and Warren (9.875) led the way once more, and a career high from sophomore Josie Angeny (9.800) coupled with the first collegiate bars routine by freshman Raena Worley from Christiansburg (9.800) rounded out the top five overall.
After a 49.125 on beam that saw a career-best 9.875 from Warren, Kentucky ended the night on floor with its third time passing the 49-point threshold through its first two meets. The Cats’ best event featured another win from Korth (9.925) and the first floor routine for freshman Raina Albores (9.675), as well as strong performances by Worley (9.900), Warren (9.850), senior Hailey Poland (9.825) and junior Megan Monfredi (9.800), who tied a career high.
Korth’s all-around win was followed by the second such performance from Warren (39.375) and Worley’s all-around debut (39.250).