The Gators start their quest for another Natty this weekend in Athens. The regionals start today with the play-in matches, followed by two quad meets on Friday and a regional final quad meet on Saturday with the top two teams from that session advancing to Nationals. Playtime is over, as they say because an off night now means you are done for the season. While Florida is entering the regional as the #1 overall seed, they are also entering on a slump with the implosion at the SEC tourney and All-world Trinity Thomas injured for over a month now. The Athens regional is probably the toughest regional with Minnesota, Denver, and the always home-cooked Georgia squad. All the other top seeds have to deal with maybe one or two squads that have the ability to score competitively with them. UF should have no problem with the Friday Semifinal (7pm ESPN3) but the Saturday final (7pm ESPN3) will see them matched up most likely with Minnesota and/or Denver/Georgia. UF could not afford an off meet and expect to advance. The biggest questions are 1. Is Trinity Thomas back on all 4 events and fully recovered and 2. Is Payton Richards mentally there after having a disaster SEC championship with 3 falls including landing on her rear on a Y1.5 vault. 3. Is Alyssa Baumann up to the task on bars? After making a feel good story nailing her first competition routine in 4 years on bars, the last 3 times have been falls. While she did have a huge 9.9+ score on that one hit, UF cannot afford the lost momentum and added pressure of having a fall on a rotation. Not sure how Rowland is going to approach Friday, as she does have the luxury of playing with line-ups since it is about as much of a guarantee that UF will advance. Does she keep things as is to let them work it out? Does she give Trinity another day of rest? Does she change out Richards and Baumann to see if someone performs up to task? Hopefully the SEC champ was an aberration and UF coasts through to nationals, which should happen if historical scores are held. Otherwise it would be a huge disappointment and Rowland would be squarely on the hot-seat. Go Gators!!