TUCSON, Ariz. — LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux wanted her team to maintain momentum this week with the Southeastern Conference Championships right around the corner.
The fourth-ranked Tigers did just that Friday night, winning a road meet at Arizona with a score of 198.175 — their highest score of the season and the highest in program history — easily beating Arizona's score of 196.225.
Perfect 10s from Sarah Finnegan and Kennedi Edney highlighted the night for LSU.
"Our goal was to come here tonight and be consistent," Beaux said. "Momentum has been a critical part of what we've been trying to build, and it was our expressed goal to come in and continue the momentum going forward, and I think this team did a fabulous job of a cohesive team effort."
LSU received support from a small continent of fans who attended the meet to cheer on the Tigers in their regular-season finale.
Despite not competing at full strength, they got a solid team effort from top to bottom en route to notching their highest scores of the season on bars and vault.
LSU started the meet on the bars, where senior Sarah Finnegan led the way with a perfect 10.0 score. Lexie Pressman, competing in her only event of the night, nearly matched Finnegan with a 9.975.
Sami Durante, Bailey Ferrer, Ruby Harrold and Edney all scored 9.875 in the event.
All together the Tigers posted a team score of 49.600 on bars, gaining an early edge over the Wildcats.
The lead only grew as LSU rotated to the vault.
Edney scored her first ever 10.0 in the event to lead the Tigers.
LSU got received stellar showings from Harrold and Sarah Edwards, who both scored 9.950.
McKenna Kelley and Finnegan rounded out the scoring with a 9.900 and 9.875, respectively.
The Tigers posted all five of highest scores in the event. After two rotations, LSU led Arizona 99.275–98.050.
The Tigers displayed their depth as the match went on.
Competing in the floor event for the first time in her collegiate career, sophomore Bridget Dean scored a 9.800.
"We needed to develop some depth in that event," Breaux said. "We haven't been able to change many people in and out. That was a real plus for Bridget to go in and be successful, and that was what we needed at this point."
That was followed by a rousing performance from Edney, who posted a 9.950 in the event.
Finnegan and Kelley each scored 9.950s of their own to give LSU a team score of 49.475 on floor, a few points below the team’s 49.675 against Oregon State.
After three rotations, LSU led Arizona 148.850–146.950.
LSU rounded finished the meet on the beam.
Christina Desiderio got things going with a 9.850, followed by Dean who tied a season high with a score of 9.875.
Sami Durante also tied a season high on beam by scoring a 9.900. Edney also scored a 9.900.
Finnegan rounded out the event with a 9.950.
LSU chose to close out the regular season against a pair of Pac-12 opponents — Oregon State last week, followed by Arizona — in preparation of the SEC Championships next week in New Orleans.
The Tigers gained plenty of confidence last week against Oregon State with a then-season-high score of 198.150. That momentum carried forward Friday.
The competition will be stiffer when the Tigers face their conference foes next Saturday, as LSU went 4-3 in SEC play including, winning its final three conference matches.
"We're excited," Breaux said. "This score may have been highest enough for us to change our seeded position going into that meet. Our ticket sales have been amazing. Our fans have supported this effort incredibly and we're just so excited and looking forward to it."