After finishing her trademark sassy and explosive floor routine, sophomore Lloimincia Hall was swarmed by her teammates on the floor, most of whom were pleading to the record 8,574 fans, the largest crowd in LSU gymnastics history.
They all held up 10 fingers and chanted, “Ten, ten ten.” The crowd joined in. The judges listened.
“That has happened for the last three home meets and the judges would not listen,” Hall said jokingly afterward. “So for them to finally listen this week … What an awesome moment.”
As the last competitor to perform in the meet, Hall earned a perfect 10 on the floor for the second time this season, sending the record crowd into raucous cheers. It was three years and a day since Ashleigh Clare-Kearney’s perfect score in 2009, LSU’s last home 10.
“They had to give it to her,” sophomore Rheagan Courville said. “She doesn’t leave any tenths on the floor. We’re all confused when she doesn’t get a 10.”
But Hall’s perfection wasn’t quite enough for No. 4 LSU (9-4) to pull off the team title, as they dropped a tight high-scoring meet to No. 5 Alabama (6-2-1), 197.725-197.500. The score was a season high for LSU.
The stage looked to be set for a dramatic LSU comeback, with the Tigers closing the meet on the floor where they are ranked No. 1 in the nation. But the LSU’s first three on the floor didn’t put up anything better than a 9.775.
“Being the No. 1 floor team in the country, we really thought we’d be able to overtake it and win it,” said LSU coach D-D Breaux.
“But our first three people up gave away some tenths that we couldn’t make up in the end.”
Even with Hall’s score and a 9.90 from Courville, the Tide matched the Tigers’ final rotation score of 49.350.
The Tigers got off to a fast start, posting a season-high 49.600 on the vault in the first rotation to jump out to a .250-point lead on the Tide. LSU entered the meet ranked No. 2 nationally in the vault.
The Tigers cranked out four 9.925s, with sophomore Jessie Jordan’s 9.90 being the lowest score counted.
But that lead quickly disappeared when LSU went to the uneven bars, where it entered the meet ranked 6th in the country.
Hall stumbled on her landing, and junior Kaleigh Dickson missed the bar altogether. Dickson penciled in to compete in the all-around, but didn’t compete in the rest of the meet after the fall.
Courville, freshman Randi Wyrick and junior Sarie Morrison did their best to help LSU recover from the falls, posting three consecutive 9.925 scores, but LSU was forced to count Hall’s 9.70 toward their team score.
The Tide tallied a 49.525 on the vault to cut the gap to .025, and would surge ahead of the Tigers in the third rotation.
Alabama junior Kim Jacob put together a near-perfect floor routine, scoring a 9.95 to lead the Tide to a 49.50 score on the floor. LSU put together a 49.250 team score in the third rotation.
The Tide led by .025 heading into the fourth and final rotation.
Courville was the only gymnast to compete in the all-around after Dickson left the meet following the second rotation. She finished with a cumulative 39.600 score.
“It felt amazing to get such a high (team) score,” Courville said. “The loss is disappointing, but our performance was definitely not something to be upset about.”
A record $108,000 was raised for Foundation 56, former LSU linebacker Bradie James’ foundation to raise money for breast cancer research.
James lost his mother to breast cancer while he attended LSU.