After passing a big test in its second meet last week, the LSU gymnastics team returns home Friday night to try and keep the early-season momentum going.
LSU dropped a spot to third in the latest GymInfo rankings after defeating Kentucky and Arizona State in Lexington, Kentucky, last Friday night, which wasn’t totally unexpected considering the Tigers were on the road for the first time.
LSU (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) will try to start another streak in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup with Missouri (2-1, 0-1 SEC) in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center after coming up short in its bid for its 15th consecutive score of 197 or higher last week.
LSU still scored a 196.600, which was enough to top Kentucky and Arizona State, but the Tigers know there’s more out there for them now that they have the first road competition out of the way.
“In general, the first road meets of the season are tough,” LSU associate head coach Jay Clark said. “You’re out of your environment, you’re on different equipment and sometimes there’s a little bit of an adjustment.
“But we passed that test. It was a workmanlike effort and it was tough at times, but there were no catastrophes. We just have to stay the course and look for improvement this week.”
That would mean another 197, which LSU has accomplished in its last 10 home meets that dates to the 2013 season. In addition, the Tigers have prevailed in their last eight competitions in the Maravich Center.
The key to that, coach D-D Breaux said, is in making improvements not only in skills and execution but also in the mental portion of the competition.
“What we need to see week in and week out is a consistent level of high intensity,” Breaux said. “We need consistency in sticking dismounts, hitting handstands and solid and fluid motion on the beam. The great thing is we have a team that can continue to make those improvements.”
LSU ranks second nationally in the beam standings with a 49.150 average. The Tigers are third on bars (49.338), and seventh on both vault (49.238) and floor exercise (49.138).
LSU has gotten contributions from several gymnasts in the early part of the season, starting with Jessie Jordan.
The senior all-arounder is the two-time SEC Gymnast of the Week after winning the titles in the first two meets. Jordan leads the team with six individual titles and she ranks in the top 10 nationally on floor (first), beam (second) and all-around (third).
Senior Rheagan Courville has claimed four individual titles this season and has 75 for her career.
LSU has displayed great depth this season as five Tigers have claimed at least one individual title. Jordan and Courville are joined on that list by Lloimincia Hall, Myia Hambrick and Ashleigh Gnat. In addition, freshman Erin Macadaeg ranks seventh nationally on beam with a 9.875 average.
Season and individual meet tickets are still available at www.LSUtix.net or at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office. Season tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for youths aged 3-12. Reserved individual meet tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for youths.