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PREVIEW: Fresh off a HUGE win, no. 15 Mizzou heads to Fayetteville

Mizzou already mauled #5 Auburn. Now it’s time for a Hog Roast.

Mizzou celebrates victory over no. 5 Auburn
Mizzou Athletics

How bout them Tigers, huh?

Fresh off a mauling of the Auburn Tigers, Mizzou heads to Fayetteville for a lil’ Hog Roast. Last week, Mizzou faced Olympic All-Around gold medalist Sunisa Lee, and this week, there’s another Olympian on deck... in for the form of Arkansas head coach Jordyn Wieber, who was a member of the gold medal-winning “Fierce Five” in the 2012 Olympics. She’s been the head coach of the ‘Backs since 2019.

Meet Info

When: Friday, February 24

Where: Barnhill Arena | Fayetteville, Ark.

Time: 8:00 p.m. CST

TV/Streaming: SEC Network


History: Friday will mark the 31st meeting between Missouri and Arkansas. The Tigers currently trail 13-17 in the series, which dates back to 2003.

Last Time On The Mats

When we last saw our Tigers, they were beating the leos right off of the then-no. 5 Auburn Tigers. I recapped what was an extremely exciting and memorable evening here. I encourage you to check it out to re-live the excitement of the night (with videos)!

Would sophomore Jocelyn Moore finally be rewarded for her incredible vault work of the past few weeks? If you read my preview, you’ll know she got completely screwed last week with some suspect judging. But not this time, friends. Our girl did a PERFECT vault and was rewarded with a PERFECT score, the first 10 of her young career. What a scene. She also made no. 10 on SportsCenter on Sunday, so all around, just a great day for Joci.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Razorbacks, or the Gymbacks as they call themselves, got a program-high vault record against Kentucky a week ago, but overall had their lowest overall score of the season (195.40) as a result of their beam score weighing them down. They ultimately lost to Kentucky by 2.475 points, which is astronomical by NCAA gymnastics standards, especially between two highly-ranked programs.

What To Expect At The Venue

Barnhill Arena is the main home of Arkansas Gymnastics and Volleyball and has a capacity of about 9,000. A couple times this season, the Gymbacks will compete in Bud Walton Arena (where Muss & Co plays) when they expect larger crowds. For reference, when they faced Florida, they brought in over 10k fans.

Friday night will celebrate the program’s annual Equality meet, an evening that, per, “celebrates fans from all races, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations, as well as an expression of commitment to the equal treatment and inclusion of all.” It’s also Alumni Night, and the team will pay tribute to 21 seasons of Arkansas gymnastics, so it should be packed and festive.

The Tigers have only visited Fayetteville six times in regular season competition over the years, and they are 2-4 in those outings... UNTIL TONIGHT!

Quick Comparisons

Expert Analysis: Woooooooooooooooooooo-weeeeeeeeee (not to be confused with Woo, Pig Souie... gross). This is gonna be a close one.

Matchups to Keep an Eye on

While there aren’t individual head-to-head matchups, I thought it was an interesting to share the no. 1 vs the no. 1, no. 2 vs no. 2, etc. And a wild card if one is warranted. Mizzou is listed second, as always. Scores in parentheses are their highest of the season.

Floor: Frankie Price (9.975) vs. Amari Celestine (9.95) | Leah Smith (9.95) vs. Alisa Sheremeta (9.95) | Lauren Williams (9.95) vs. Hannah McCrary (9.925) | Madison Hickey (9.925) vs. Jocelyn Moore (9.925) | Norah Flatley (9.90) vs. Sienna Schreiber (9.90) | Maddie Jones (9.90) vs. Alonna Kratzer (9.90)


While Mizzou holds a higher high score than Arkansas on FX, the Gymbacks hold both a higher average and NQS (national qualifying score) currently, and with the exception of Madison Hickey (9.788 avg) and Frankie Price (9.875 avg), they’re pretty consistent. As Frankie’s score is so high already, I’d hardly describe that difference as much. This event will be a close one, you guys. Rankings-wise, Williams is ranked no. 19 and Price is no. 47 nationally.

Missouri had a [redacted expletive] PHENOMENAL floor exercise last week, hitting a top score of 49.600 (their preview high was 49.425) and four of Mizzou’s entrants in the event scored either their season-high (Alisa, Amari, Alonna) or tied it (Joci). The 49.600 was the Tigers’ second highest score in program history, only behind a 49.650 set last year. National rankings-wise, Alisa comes in a no. 34 and Jocelyn at no. 63. Amari hasn’t participated in enough meets yet to be considered in the national rankings. That should change after tonight, FWIW.

Beam: Cami Weaver (9.95) vs. Helen Hu (9.95) | Cally Swaney (9.925) vs. Siena Schreiber (9.95) | Norah Flatley (9.90) vs. Alisa Sheremeta (9.925) | Kiara Gianfagna (9.90) vs. Grace Anne Davis (9.90) | Kalyxta Gamiao (9.875) vs. Addison Lawrence (9.85) | Wild Card: Kennedy Hambrick (9.825) OR Bailey Lovett (9.825) vs. Hannah McCrary (9.80) OR Sydney Schaffer (9.75)


I’m quite interested in watching how Arkansas does on beam, as the Gymbacks realllllly messed up last week against Kentucky, scoring only a 47.075 — yikes — and their high score to average scores have A LOT of variance. For instance, even their no. 1, Cami, has only a 9.718 average score. Cally, the de facto no. 2, has a 9.667 average. The only Arkansas beamer with averages that closely mirror their high scores? Kalyxta. National rankings-wise, Gamiao is ranked no. 48 and Flatley is ranked no. 26 on beam.

Sienna really struggled on beam last week against Auburn, but she was the only one to do so and thus her score was dropped. I am sure she’ll get back to her Beam Queen ways, as it was just the week before she got the 9.95! Addy is about as consistent as they come on the beam, having scored 9.85 three times this season already. As for the wild card spot, we’ve seen both Hannah and Sydney on occasion, and the Tigers seem content with switching out the 6-spot in order to find the right rotation. Both are prone to cases of the “checkies” (balance checks, I just made that up), but I’d give the nudge to the grad student in this environment; she’s been great. National rankings-wise, Sienna is ranked no. 59 (despite the Auburn mess), Alisa is no. 48, and Helen is all the way up at no. 20, balance check be damned!

One more thing to note: I heard on the broadcast, the announcers noticed that Helen had dropped the scale from her beam routine last week, and it was integral part in seamlessly integrating her unbelievable skills together. Without the scale, she had a slight checkie, and it kinda seems like if she’d kept it in, she could have masked it a bit better. Let’s see if it’s back this time!

Bars: Maddie Jones (9.95) vs. Helen Hu (9.925) | Reese Dotar (9.95) vs. Jocelyn Moore (9.90) | Norah Flatley (9.925) vs. Sienna Schreiber (9.90) | Jensen Scalzo (9.9) vs. Alisa Sheremeta (9.875) | Jaime Pratt (9.85) vs. Amari Celestine (9.85) | Wild Card: Cally Swaney (9.85) vs. Kyra Burns (9.85) OR Hollyn Patrick (9.775)


Arkansas holds the advantage on bars in high scores and the NQS, but Mizzou appears to be more consistent on the apparatus by a smidge. In terms of national rankings, Scalzo is no. 54 while Flatley is no. 29. The top of the Hogs’ Gymbacks’ order and bottom feature the most inconsistency score-wise, as Reese’s high score is 9.95, but her average is only a 9.739. So was the 9.95 an outlier? Or does she have just a few big mistakes weighing her down? And at the bottom of the rotation, Swaney’s got a 9.85, which is great, but her average is only a 9.671, leaving me with questions.

Mizzou’s bars score against Auburn tied for their third highest of the season, and aside from the Kentucky meet, they’ve been performing quite well. For the wild card, Hollyn tied her best score against Florida and has participated in the event several times this season, but Kyra Burns got her first start against Auburn — she’s been out with a shoulder injury — and was TERRIFIC. I’ll give the nod to her as Shannon Welker tries to get his postseason rotations in order.

Vault: Leah Smith (9.95) vs. Jocelyn Moore (10.0) | Makenzie Sedlacek (9.95) vs. Sienna Schreiber (9.90) | Lauren Williams (9.925) vs. Amari Celestine (9.875) | Norah Flatley (9.90) vs. Hannah McCrary (9.85) | Frankie Price (9.90) vs. Grace Anne Davis (9.85) | Cami Weaver (9.85) vs. Addison Lawrence (9.775)


Arkansas achieved their program-high last week against Kentucky, pulling off a 49.525, and as you can see by the scores above, their entire lineup is a 9.90 or higher. The Gymbacks have 4 ranked in the top 60 nationally, including: Flatley (56), Price (50), Williams (48) and Weaver (42).

Similarly, Mizzou ALSO achieved their season-high by a decent margin, and tied their program best score, which was set last year. Four of Mizzou’s six entrants against Auburn got their highest scores of the season, including Jocelyn Moore’s first collegiate perfect 10. She’s been the top scorer for Mizzou most meets and ranks no. 8 nationally. Mizzou fans are still waiting for Amari to get her 9.95 groove back, but in the meantime, the Tigers have to bring up the tail end of their scores and try to avoid any scores in the 9.7 range.

How Missouri Can Win

Floor: I think that the Tigers’ FX are amazing — they have excellent choreo and actually look like they’re having FUN out there, and that seems to show in the judges’ scores. So, keep that up.

Beam: Limit the checkies! Last week I mentioned I’d like to see the Beam Team order altered a bit, and while Shannon did switch it up a bit, he kept Addison Lawrence in the 1-spot for a reason. The announcers said the team had discovered atop the lineup is where she performs best. And aside from the Kentucky meet where she had that disastrous fall, I’d agree with this. So if Addy can get started with her signature 9.85, it sets a great example for the others.

Bars: Changes are on the horizon in the bars rotation, and I think it’s a good thing. Kyra Burns got her first ever bars start last week, and made the most of it. I’d love to see her going forward. While no one got their high score last week, they were all very close to it, and tied for their third highest score of the season (49.25).

Vault: I only want to see one 9.7-score, and that is the one they drop! Mizzou did a great job of sticking landings and maintaining high, high position in the air last week against Auburn and it showed in their best vault score of the year (49.450), which also ties their program best. While I don’t expect another 10 from Jodi — they are on the road, after all — I’d love to see high 9.8s to low 9.9s from the likes of Sienna, Amari, and Grace Anne.

Overall: I really think Mizzou can - and should - win this, if they want to show the collegiate gymnastics world they can compete. I predict that Arkansas wins vault and bars, but Mizzou takes it on beam (despite being on the road!) and floor.

See you on the twitter, where I’ll be posting videos and super professional commentary!

I’m so excited. M-I-Z.