No. 9 LSU Earns Road Victory Over Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The ninth-ranked LSU gymnastics team scored a 196.300-195.700 victory against Iowa in the final road dual meet of the season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday night.
LSU (6-8) earned the second-highest vault score this season with a 49.375 and the third-best bars and floor scores with a 49.125 and 49.150, respectively.
With the 196.300 team total, the Tigers improved their regional qualifying score (RQS) from a 196.405 to a 196.440.
"The kids got out there and gave us a great effort tonight, and I'm really proud of them," head coach D-D Breaux said. "This team is learning what it means to be under pressure, and we have to go back in the gym and get better from this performance."
Sarie Morrison earned her second-straight bars title with a 9.90 to lead LSU in the event, and Rheagan Courville was right behind her with a 9.875. LSU also counted a 9.80 from Randi Lau and 9.775's from Jessie Jordan and Lloimincia Hall.
Hall picked up her first career vault title with a season-best 9.95, and Courville finished second with a 9.925. LSU also received a 9.875 from Jordan, a 9.825 from Lau and a 9.80 from Kaleigh Dickson.
Courville took second place in the meet on floor with a 9.875, just .025 behind Iowa's Jessa Hansen who scored a 9.90. Jordan posted a 9.85 while Maliah Mathis and Hall each registered a 9.825. Lau earned a 9.775 that counted as LSU's fifth score.
Entering the final rotation on beam, the Tigers needed a 49.200 to tie the season-high 196.850, but they were forced to count a fall as Lau and Courville each slipped from the beam. Jordan led the way for LSU with a 9.85, and her score was second in the event behind Hansen's 9.90. Shelby Prunty and Dickson both tied their season high with a 9.825, and Hall tallied a 9.775.
Hansen won the all-around with a 39.425, and Jordan finished second with a 39.350 while Hall was third at 39.325.
Morrison's bars title is her second individual crown of the season and her 14th career title. Hall's first-place finish on vault brings her season total to eight titles.
Iowa fell to 6-8-1 on the season after the loss.
LSU returns to the Maravich Center next Friday for the final home meet when the Tigers face West Virginia at 7 p.m. CT. The meet will be Senior Night when the Tigers honor All-America Ashley Lee and team managers Robby Abboud and Tyler Trahan.
No. 5 Georgia Earns Road Win At No. 20 Michigan
YPSILANTI, Mich. - The fifth-ranked Georgia gymnastics team claimed a 196.575-195.300 win at No. 20 Michigan Friday night at the EMU Convocation Center. The meet was moved to the campus of Eastern Michigan University due to renovations at Michigan’s Crisler Center.
The Gym Dogs (7-3) posted the high score on all four events and won despite being without the services of Gina Nuccio and Shayla Worley, who missed the meet with injuries.
“We saw so many great things tonight from people who haven’t had as many opportunities to compete,” said Georgia head coach Jay Clark. “They did a nice job and held us together. We hated to count the fall at the end on beam when we could’ve scored a 197 on the road, but we are pleased with what we did tonight. Our kids did a great job. Michigan is a little banged up, and I know what that feels like. We came in here and did what we needed to do, and hopefully we’ll have a few more healthy bodies on Sunday.”
Georgia opened the meet by posting its highest bars score on the road this year with a 49.325. Kat Ding, who competed on only one event after suffering a foot injury during Tuesday’s practice, posted a 9.95 to win her 18th event title of the year. Chelsea Davis, who just last week posted a career-best 9.95, followed it with a 9.925 on Friday, and Christa Tanella added a 9.875 in the leadoff position, her career-high. Michigan, meanwhile, opened with a 48.5 on vault.
The Gym Dogs then went to vault and posted a 49.175. Sarah Persinger led the team with a career-best 9.9, Cat Hires had a 9.875, and three 9.8s gave Georgia a two-rotation score of 98.500. The Wolverines (8-5) posted a 48.85 for a 97.350 team total.
The Gym Dogs posted a 49.225 on floor in the third rotation to bring their team total to a 147.775. Noel Couch had a team-best 9.9 in the anchor, and Persinger tied her career-high with a 9.875.
In the final rotation, Georgia was forced to count a fall on beam and scored a 48.800. Laura Moffatt turned in a career-high 9.9 to tie for first, while Kaylan Earls added a 9.85 and Kati Breazeal posted a career-best 9.825. Breazeal also recorded a career-high on vault with a 9.8.
Persinger posted a 39.350 in her first career all-around to tie for second.
Georgia will close out the regular season against NC State Sunday at 2:30 p.m. It will be the final home meet for Mariel Box, Ding and Nuccio, who will be honored prior to the meet during Senior Day festivities.
Alabama Gymnastics Beats No. 14 Missouri, 197.175-195.375
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 4 Alabama gymnastics team beat No. 14 Missouri, 197.175-195.375, in front of 12,936 fans in Coleman Coliseum Friday night. It marked Alabama’s fifth 197-plus score of in its last six meets. Senior Geralen Stack-Eaton won her third all-around in four outings this season with a season-best 39.550.
The Crimson Tide used the night to unofficially welcome Missouri, who was tapped as the Southeastern Conference’s 14th team last fall, to the league. Missouri officially joins the SEC next fall.
“We wanted to do our best to welcome Missouri into the Southeastern Conference,” UA coach Sarah Patterson said. “I don’t think that there was any coach that was more excited about having another quality gymnastics team in our conference than I was.”
The meet had another purpose as well. Both teams represent states hit hard by last spring’s devastating storms, which led Patterson to designate Friday as Tornado Relief night.
“To me the meet was a chance to welcome Missouri to the SEC, celebrate the tornado relief efforts and tie all that together with a great competition,” Patterson said. “This meet has been circled on my calendar for a long time.”
Prior to the start of the meet, Tuscaloosa Toyota and Tuscaloosa Motor Sales USA presented ReadBAMARead, the foundation started by UA assistant coach Dana Duckworth to restock the libraries of the three elementary schools destroyed by last April’s tornado, with checks totaling $22,400. ReadBAMARead will also stage a 10K race and a 1K fun run Saturday, March 10 to further benefit the cause.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox were on hand as Alabama and Missouri remembered those affected by the tornadoes and honored everyone who has helped with the recovery efforts.
The Tide finished off a solid meet with a 49.175 on the floor exercise led by Stack-Eaton’s winning 9.9. Stack-Eaton also won the uneven bars with a 9.9 to pace the Tide to a 49.350 team score. For the second time this season,
Alabama started its balance beam rotation off with a fall and for the second time this season, the Tide answered with five hit routines in a row, scoring a 49.325 led by Stack-Eaton’s winning 9.925, which was her season-high score.
“I really wasn’t worried.” Stack-Eaton said of the fall. “I was confident the rest of us would hit our routines because we practice this every day in practice. Tonight was good experience for the postseason. If we were to get into that situation again, we know how to come back and make the next five routines.”
Alabama started the night off with a 49.325 on the vault, led by junior Marissa Gutierrez winning 9.95.
The Tide closes out the regular season at home next Friday against North Carolina starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at RollTide.com.
No. 16 Auburn defeats Southeast Missouri, 195.925-194.425
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Auburn totaled a solid 195.925 on Friday night as the Tigers downed Southeast Missouri on the road in non-conference action. The Redhawks finished with a final total of 194.425.
“Tonight was a tough environment, but the girls battled through that adversity,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said. “We had an injury on floor, but the girls did great through all of the adversity they had to face. They kept their heads down and did a great job. This is one of our best road performances. Our last two road performances have been our best. We are really happy with that.”
Auburn opened on bars and posted a strong 49.000. Kylie Shields wrapped up the Auburn bars lineup with a 9.850 – tops on the team. Petrina Yokay scored 9.825, while Bri Guy and Allyson Sandusky added matching scores of 9.800 as the Tigers took a 49.000-48.300 lead after one rotation.
Toi Garcia’s 9.825 vault score powered Auburn further into the lead after two rotations. The Tigers held a commanding advantage of 97.850-97.000 as they moved into the floor exercise.
A pair of miscues on floor held Auburn to a total score of just 48.875, but Garcia was solid with her 9.875 performance, a mark that ties her season high. In front of her home-state crowd, Webster recorded a 9.800. After three events, the Tigers held a 146.725-145.775 advantage.
Auburn wrapped up the win on beam with a season-high showing of 49.200. Sandusky led the way with a season high tying 9.875, also the top score of the meet on the apparatus. Abbey Habicht added a career-best 9.850 and Yokay tied her career-high mark with a 9.850. Megan Walker also tied her career high with a 9.800 performance on balance beam.
“I’m glad that we are finally doing that in a meet,” Graba said. “We’ve been waiting for it to show up. It was a tough meet. We brought the energy, the focus and finished with our best beam of the year.”
Shields picked up her 12th and 13th event wins of the season with wins on uneven bars (9.850) and with the all-around title (39.200).
The Tigers are in action next on March 16 when they wrap up the regular season at home against BYU.