Pisani Leads No. 2 Razorbacks To Win Over Auburn
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 2 Arkansas got a No. 1 performance from the top floor worker in the country and knocked off No. 13 Auburn in Southeastern Conference gymnastics action in Barnhill Arena on Friday.
Senior All-American Jaime Pisani, ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor, set a school record in that event with a 9.975 on floor and tied the school record with a 39.725 in the all-around, leading Arkansas to a 196.800-195.800 win over the Tigers.
Pisani also had a 9.90 on vault, a career-high 9.925 on beam and a 9.925 on bars in front of a crowd of 3,962.
The Razorbacks had scores of 49.275 on vault, 49.35 on bars, 49.225 on beam and 48.95 on floor.
“We had some outstanding performances,” co-head coach René Cook said. “Obviously on bars and beam was much improved. The team fought hard.
Arkansas’ weekend continues on Super Bowl Sunday as the Razorbacks entertain No. 5 Oklahoma on Sunday at 2 p.m. before going on the road for two straight at Georgia and at Alabama.
“I thought we would have a chance to hit the 197-point mark,” Cook said. “But that’s fine. We’re still on track. The crowd at the last couple of meets has really energized us. We feed off of that.”
In the first rotation, Arkansas, ranked No. 6 in the nation on vault, scored a 49.275 while Auburn had a 49.00 on bars.
Sophomore All-American Katherine Grable matched the school’s eighth-best score with a 9.925, Scarlett Williams matched her career high of 9.80 and Pisani scored a 9.90. Junior Jordan Salsberg had a 9.85 and junior All-American Kelci Lewis a 9.80.
Auburn was led on bars by Petrina Yokay and Kylie Shields with a 9.90 each.
In the second rotation, Arkansas had a 49.35 on bars while the Tigers had a 48.70 on vault. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 1 in the country on bars and the 49.35 is the fourth-best score in program history.
Pisani and senior Mariah Howdeshell, ranked No. 1 in the nation on the event, both matched the school’s third-best mark of 9.925. Grable tied her career high of 9.90, Salsberg posted a 9.825 and sophomore Shelby Salmon had a 9.775.
Toi Garcia paced Auburn on vault with a 9.80.
Through two rotations, Arkansas led 98.625-97.70.
Next on beam, Arkansas posted a season-high 49.225 while AU had a 48.975 on floor. Arkansas’ score ties the eighth-best in Razorback history.
Pisani recorded a career-high 9.925, which also equals the fifth-best score in school history. Williams matched her career high of 9.875, Salsberg had a season-high 9.825, Grable a 9.85 and Lewis a 9.75.
Bri Guy led the Tigers with a 9.90.
After three events, Arkansas led 147.85-146.675.
In the final event, Arkansas had a 48.95 on floor and Auburn finished with a 49.125 on beam.
Grable tied the school record of 9.95, but Pisani went next and set a new school mark with a 9.975. Zumwalde added a 9.825, Salsberg a 9.725 and Stephani Canizaro a 9.475.
“We’ve been having an awesome season,” Pisani said. “We’ve had 196 points or more in every meet. It’s an amazing feeling to set the all-around record. I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”
LSU Gymnastics EarnsS 196.125-195.050 Win Against Kentucky
BATON ROUGE – The 14th-ranked LSU gymnastics team delighted the crowd of 3,976 fans inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center as the Tigers posted a 196.125-195.050 victory over Kentucky Friday night.
Freshman Rheagan Courville took home her first career all-around title with a season-best 39.450, and she also picked up individual titles on vault, bars and beam.
Freshman Lloimincia Hall excited the crowd as she wrapped up the meet with a 9.875 to earn her third floor exercise title of the season.
As a team LSU (2-6, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) tallied a season-high 49.150 on floor as well as the fifth score of 49.0 or higher on vault with a 49.200 on the way to the Tigers second SEC win at home this year.
“We were not going to be denied tonight,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “Everybody on this team took their gymnastics to the next level. This team has a lot of heart, and when you are competing with a lot of heart and desire good things happen.”
The Tigers opened up on vault with five scores of 9.80 or higher, paced by Courville’s 9.90, Maliah Mathis’ 9.85, Ashley Lee and Hall’s 9.825 and Dickson’s 9.80.
LSU earned the second-highest bars score of the season with a 48.925 as four Tigers tied or scored new season highs. Courville tied her season best and won the bars title with a 9.875, while Jessie Jordan posted a season-high 9.80 and Lainie Fleming and Mckenzie Fox both scored career-high 9.75’s.
Courville earned the first 9.90 of the year for any LSU gymnast on beam as she scored a 9.925 to win the event title. Randi Lau tallied a season-high 9.80, and Hall tied her season mark with a 9.80. Ericka Garcia missed her career-high by a quarter tenth as she recorded a 9.825 in the leadoff spot.
Hall won the floor title with a 9.875, just .025 off her season-high of 9.90. Dickson set a season high with a 9.85 in the leadoff spot, and Jordan tied her high mark with a 9.85. Lau earned a season-high 9.80, and Maliah Mathis posted a 9.775 in her first action of the season on floor.
With the four individual titles in the meet, Courville upped her season total to eight titles – four on vault and one each on bars, beam, floor and the all-around.
Hall finished second in the all-around with a 39.250, her second-highest all-around score of the year.
The crowd of 3,976 ranked 14th all-time in LSU gymnastics home attendance, and Breaux said the enthusiasm of the crowd helped fuel the Tigers’ performances in the meet.
“I was pleased with the crowd,” Breaux said. “The more we are in the community and the more we can do to entice people to come, people will show up. We are having the beginning of a great season, and this crowd saw some incredible gymnastics from an LSU team that is only going to get better.”
Kentucky (3-4, 0-3) tied its season high with a 195.050 as the Wildcats received a solid performance from Audrey Harrison who placed third in the all-around with a 39.125.
LSU will head back on the road as the Tigers travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the third-ranked Florida Gators on Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. CT.
Alabama Gymnastics Beats Florida, 197.725-196.900
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 6 ranked Alabama gymnastics team beat No. 3 Florida by a score of 197.725-196.900 in front of 12,457 fans who braved the rain Friday night to be at Coleman Coliseum. It was the second highest score in the nation this year and the highest score for the Crimson Tide since the 2004 season.
Alabama, avenging its lone loss from a year ago, goes to 6-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in SEC competition while the Gators fall to 6-1-0 overall, 2-1-0 in the SEC.
“I think really the key to our success tonight, was something our ladies learned from last year,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. “When we got down to Gainesville last year, everybody was watching this great Florida team and we didn’t focus on what we had to do. So tonight the coaches challenged the athletes to not even watch the Gators.”
Alabama got things going with a 49.600 on the vault, led by sophomore Diandra Milliner’s perfect 10.0. It was Alabama’s highest vault team score since posting a 49.625 at the 2005 NCAA Championships Super Six Team Finals. It was also the Tide’s second 10.0 of the season, following senior Geralen Stack-Eaton’s perfect mark on the vault against Georgia to start the season.
“I thought it was great,” Stack-Eaton said of Milliner’s perfect score. “I just think it shows how much potential we have. Marissa (Gutierrez) got a 9.95 tonight (on vault) and she has the potential to get a 10 as well. We just have a great vaulting team.”
Stack-Eaton, who was held out from competition last Friday at Auburn after an awkward landing during warm ups, returned to the vault and uneven bars lineup against the Gators, scoring a 9.925 and a 9.825 respectively.
The Tide also posted season-high scores on the uneven bars (49.250), balance beam (49.425) and floor exercise (49.450). For Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson, Friday’s performance came a week later than she though it would.
“I think that we were prepared for this performance last week,” Patterson said. “I think losing Geralen after warm ups last week kind of shook our ladies just a little bit.”
Senior Ashley Priess won the all-around, her first of the season, with a 39.550, followed by junior Ashley Sledge, who tied her career-best to take second, with a 39.450.
Milliner won the vault with a perfect 10 while junior Marissa Gutierrez won the floor exercise with a 9.925. Milliner, Priess and sophomore Sarah DeMeo tied for top honors on the balance beam, all scoring 9.9.
Alabama returns to the road next weekend, traveling to Lexington, Ky., to take on Kentucky on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The Tide returns home Friday, Feb. 17 against Arkansas for the eighth annual Power of Pink meet.
No. 1 Utah Rallies To Edge No. 4 Gym Dogs
SALT LAKE CITY - Fourth-ranked Georgia led No. 1 Utah by a tenth entering the final rotation, but the Utes came back to claim a 197.150-196.950 win in front of 14,926 fans Friday at the Huntsman Center.
Georgia (3-2) had regained the lead after a 49.3 in the third rotation, but Utah (3-1), the top-ranked team on floor, turned in a 49.500 behind a pair of 9.95s in the final two routines. Despite the loss, the Gym Dogs posted their highest road score since a 197.150 at Florida in 2010.
“I was very proud of our attitude and our grit,” Georgia head coach Jay Clark said. “We had some mistakes and I think both teams were a little tight because it was such a high-profile meet. I think we let that get to us early on. This score will help us down the line, and to be able to go close to 197 on the road certainly helps. We have to continue to grow. Still, you’re never happy with a loss, so we’ll lick our wounds for a day or two.”
Georgia started the meet on bars and led 49.275-49.225 after one rotation. After a pair of 9.825s in the middle of the lineup, Gina Nuccio and Kat Ding closed out the rotation with a 9.9 and 9.925, respectively. For Ding, it was her fourth bars title in five meets this season.
Utah posted a 49.25 on bars in the second rotation to take a 98.475-98.45 lead at the halfway point. Georgia was led on vault by Ding with a 9.9, and Cat Hires’ 9.85. The Gym Dogs turned in a 49.0 or higher on the event for the 13th-straight meet.
Behind Noel Couch’s career-high 9.95 in the anchor on floor, Georgia regained the lead 147.750-147.650 going to the final rotation. Nuccio scored a 9.875 in the No 5 spot, and UGA posted a season-high 49.3 on the event.
The Gym Dogs went to beam for the final rotation and scored a 49.200. Shayla Worley turned in a 9.9 to tie for first, and Couch added a 9.85 in the leadoff spot. On floor, Utah had a pair of 9.95s and two 9.875s for a 49.500.
Corrie Lothrop won the all-around for Utah with a 39.475, and Couch had a 39.150.
Georgia will be at home for the next two weeks beginning with a met against No. 2 Arkansas next Friday at 7:30 p.m.