Doggette scores perfect 10 in loss to Kentucky

Abby McCreary, Assistant Sports Editor

Immediately after sticking her landing from the uneven bars, senior Makarri Doggette celebrated the routine. The rest of the Alabama gymnastics team surrounded her with cheers and claps, and sure enough, a 10 flashed on the screen.  

A perfect score.  

Despite Doggette’s perfect 10 and seven other scores of 9.900 or higher, the Crimson Tide lost its dual meet against the Kentucky Wildcats 197.825-197.375 in Lexington, Kentucky, Friday night. The high-scoring meet resulted in a season-high for No. 13 Alabama (2-2, SEC 1-2) and No. 10 Kentucky’s best score in program history (4-2, SEC 2-1). 

Head coach Ashley Johnston said she was proud of her team’s performance despite the loss.  

“In gymnastics, the wins and losses don’t matter as much,” Johnston said. “It’s really about the score and building that score throughout the season. [197] was a really big mark for us.” 

In the first rotation, Alabama showed no evidence of last week’s two-fall performance on the bars. Doggette’s perfect 10 and a 9.950 each from Cam Machado and Luisa Blanco all contributed to Alabama’s highest bars score of the season, a 49.625, winning the event.  

In the second rotation, Kentucky had a fall, but the Wildcats were able to throw it out and went into the halfway point only trailing by .050. 

Johnston said starting the meet on a good note was a positive sign for the rest of the season.  

“To be able to start the meet off going strong on bars was something we were really striving to go for as a group,” Johnston said. “We gave away a few too many things in the middle of the meet. Those are all correctable issues.” 

With the Crimson Tide on the floor and the Wildcats on the beam in the third rotation, Kentucky’s Isabella Magnelli’s routine was a game changer that helped the Wildcats take the first lead of the night. Her 9.975 was followed by Raena Worley’s 9.950, giving the Wildcats a narrow .125 lead going into the fourth rotation.  

With the pressure mounting and the stakes high, the first routines from both teams counted a fall. From there, the Kentucky floor routine took off. Two 9.950s from Worley and Hailey Davis cemented the win over Alabama. The meet was at both teams’ fingertips, but the Crimson Tide couldn’t put up the same scores as the Kentucky floor gymnasts who had a home crowd for the most dynamic event of the night.  

Johnston said that her team’s competitiveness will help them learn from tonight’s loss and bounce back.  

“I can guarantee you, walking away from this meet, they’re going to celebrate those moments that went really well, but they’re also going to be really feisty and competitive about the things they gave away,” Johnston said. “When there’s a setback, they are all in to correcting the mistake, figuring out what went wrong, and making sure they don’t let that happen again.” 

Alabama returns home next weekend for its Power of Pink match against Auburn, a conference rival and Johnston’s home before Alabama. The first rotation will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 3, and will air on SEC Network.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]