TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Nicolette McNair recorded three top-four finishes Friday to highlight No. 10 Stanford’s night at No. 4 Alabama.
The Cardinal (13-3, 5-2 Pac-12) posted a 196.300 but fell to the Crimson Tide (9-3, 6-1 SEC) which recorded a season-best team score of 198.250. Alabama’s score is the highest of any team in the country this season.
McNair competed in the all-around for the third time in her collegiate career and delivered strong performances on bars, vault and beam to place in the top four in each event. She began the meet by tying her collegiate best on bars with a 9.875 to finish fourth and followed that performance by tying her collegiate high on vault with a 9.925 to place third.
McNair closed the meet with a third-place finish on beam, earning a 9.875. She has hit 15 of 16 routines over the past five meets.
The Cardinal had a strong showing in Alabama but ran into a Crimson Tide team that is on a roll. The current Southeastern Conference leader was coming off a victory against previously undefeated No. 2 Florida last week and was able to carry its momentum into the competition against the Cardinal.
Despite the loss, the trip south could serve as a particularly valuable learning experience for Stanford in roughly a month when the NCAA Championships are held there.
Stanford opened the night on bars and was led by McNair and Shona Morgan, both posting scores of 9.875. Samantha Shapiro and Kristina Vaculik also had strong showings, going 9.850 in the fifth and sixth positions.
The Cardinal tied its third-highest team score on vault with a 49.300. Nicolette McNair led the way with a 9.925 and was followed by Vaculik with a 9.875. Rachel Daum and Taylor Rice posted scores of 9.850, while Melissa Chuang and Danielle McNair notched 9.800’s.
Stanford ran into some difficulties on floor when two gymnasts missed routines and the Cardinal was forced to count a fall. Rice led Stanford on floor, tying her collegiate best of 9.900. Daum followed Rice with a 9.875 to post the Cardinal’s second-highest score on the night.
Jenna Frowein delivered a crucial routine in the third spot after the Cardinal gymnast before her missed her routine. Frowein tied her collegiate best, earning a 9.825.
The Cardinal earned its third-highest score of the season on beam in the final rotation, going 49.250. Shona Morgan and Becky Wing provided Stanford with a strong start, delivering back-to-back scores of 9.850 to begin the event. Nicolette McNair and Amanda Spinner paced the Cardinal with scores of 9.875.
Stanford will have next week off and will prepare for the Pac-12 Championships on March 22 at California.