NCAA Gymnastics: National Semifinal Two Preview
Pic: ncaagymnews.weebly.com

The second semi-final of the Nationals has another six teams battling for places in the Super Six final. The semi-finalists here are LSU, Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia & Nebraska.

As before, the top three will progress to the final to compete in the Super Six and be crowned National champion.

Here we take a look at the teams and how they could do in the semi-final, we will end with our predictions on who will move forward.

LSU

Ashleigh Gnat on Beam Pic: Pinterest
Ashleigh Gnat on Beam Pic: Pinterest

LSU are the favorites in this group to move forward. The Tigers have been the highest scorers from the teams in this semi, only slightly behind the Sooners in real terms.

LSU cannot afford any slip-ups on their apparatus and their routines. To score big and stay close to Oklahoma overall, every member of the team must be on their A-game. A few nailed landings wouldn't go amiss. Having to rely on your all around star is never a good idea.

The Tigers have good gymnasts on most pieces. Ruby Harrold on bars is an example. The bars is her best apparatus, and she has scored consistently well on that piece. Ashleigh Gnat can score well on most of the apparatus, so if LSU can all perform well, they should qualify without too much bother.

Florida

Alex McMurtry on bars pic: GatorCountry.com
Alex McMurtry on bars pic: GatorCountry.com

Florida should also qualify safely. They have been behind LSU and Sooners all season, just not able to break the hold the top two have.

Having landed a lot of perfect 10's in the other rounds has helped Florida to score big. Their problem has been consistency. To stay with the big guns, Florida will have to score consistently high, and avoid mistakes.

The pressure of the situation could get to them, A few wobbles here and there, a missed landing or an imperfect handstand on the bars would prove fatal in terms of qualifying for the Super Six. Beam has proved to be the downfall of Florida so far this season, this must improve if they are to make the Super Six.

Bars will or should be one of their strongest pieces, and it will need to be. LSU and Florida are strongest on the bars, this will be an interesting apparatus with these two teams.

Alabama

Kiana Winston Pic: RollTide.com
Kiana Winston Pic: RollTide.com

This is where it gets interesting. Alabama has finished the season higher than the other teams below LSU and Florida in this group, however, it has taken a struggle to get here.

Alabama nearly didn't make it to the nationals, as their regional score was not to their normal standard. Kiana Winston had a bad beam and only managed 9.65. This will not be good enough to qualify, Alabama will need to do much better and nail their landings. This is another team that could crumble under pressure.

If their gymnasts are focussed and have been practicing everything that has let them down recently, then Alabama can scrap the Super Six.

Michigan

Nicole Artz Pic: Flogymnastics.com
Nicole Artz Pic: Flogymnastics.com

Now Michigan seem to be peaking just at the right time, getting their routines together finally all at the same meet. This has brought out some stellar performances from Nicole Artz amongst others.

The Wolverines performances were dominating in the Big Tens and regionals, the big question would be if they can do it again at the Nationals.

Artz and the other gymnasts will all need to come together on the night, and put in some big performances. As the Wolverines missed out on the Nationals completely last year, they will not be leaving anything to chance in the quest to make the Super Six.

Georgia

Sydney Snead Pic: flogymnastics.com
Sydney Snead Pic: flogymnastics.com

Georgia would be underdogs to make it to the Super Six. You should never count out the underdogs though. The Gymdogs have been working on building strength and depth, this could be just the time to unleash it.

With a replication of the vault score from the regionals, Georgia could spring the surprise and jump over Michigan & Alabama and sneak through to the third qualifying spot.

If the Gymdogs can equal their scores on both beam and vault which also had no falls on the tricky beam, they can gain on the others. Their gymnasts will nee to be more consistent than previous rounds though. A question that will be answered at the Nationals will be if Rachel Dickson will return to floor, after an ankle injury that has kept her limited to just the bars, will this be the time for Dickson to make a full comeback

Nebraska

Taylor Houchin Pic:huskers.com
Taylor Houchin Pic:huskers.com

Nebraska is unlikely to make the Super Six but can take great pride in the fact the made the Nationals this year. The Huskers have had to deal with a lot of injuries and a very up and down season.

The lowest score for the Huskers was 196 and is the lowest of all the teams taking part here, but their season high of 197.1 would be enough to overtake some of the other teams.

To improve from the regionals, the Huskers should have been working on staying on the apparatus and also the landings, both of which have had major factors in their positions this season

If Taylor Houchin and others can score well, they could threaten for a place in the Super Six. The Huskers will be hungry to qualify, but I don't see that happening

Predictions

Qualifying for the Super Six from this semi final will be

LSU

Florida

Georgia.

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