Gymnastics Takes on Kentucky in Top-10 Matchup
BATON ROUGE – The fifth-ranked LSU Gymnastics team (8-2, 4-2 SEC) will take on No. 10 Kentucky (6-3, 3-3 SEC) in the Southeastern Conference regular season finale at 7:15 p.m. CT Friday inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
There are a limited amount of general admission tickets still available at LSUtix.net. Student tickets are free and the entrance is on the upper west side of the arena. Doors to the arena will open at 5:45 p.m. for all fans. The first 500 students will receive an LSU gymnastics tank top and the first 500 fans through the upper entrances will receive an LSU gymnastics t-shirt.
The meet will be streamed live on SECNetwork+ through WatchESPN.com and the app. Lyn Rollins and former All-America gymnast Kaleigh Dickson Abboud will call the top-10 meeting.
“We are in March now and really gearing up for our postseason,” head coach Jay Clark. “I know the team is excited to get back in the PMAC and compete a really strong Kentucky team. Competing in front of the home crowd will really them some extra juice for this SEC finale.”
When the squad takes the floor on Friday they’ll be looking to score a 197 or higher to drop the season opener score from its National Qualifying Score (NQS). With three meets left this season, LSU has a strong chance to finish in the top four and take a No. 1 seed going into NCAA postseason.
LSU owns top-five rankings on vault and bars and top-10 on beam and floor. The Tigers have season highs of 49.500 on vault, 49.500 on bars, 49.650 on beam and 49.775 on floor. The score of 49.775 against Auburn marked a school record.
Kiya Johnson and Haleigh Bryant, two of the top gymnasts in the country, are expected to compete in the all-around together for the second time this season. Both Johnson and Bryant own multiple perfect scores in 2022. Johnson owns a 10 on beam and floor and Bryant has scored two 10’s on vault. Johnson owns two 10’s on beam, one on vault and four on floor. She is the sixth gymnast in LSU history to score multiple perfect scores on beam. Bryant has scored all four of her career 10’s on vault.
LSU will be without star junior Kai Rivers. Rivers, who suffered a shoulder injury against Alabama, has no timetable for return. The Detroit, Michigan native returned to LSU’s lineup on vault, bars and beam after missing the 2021 season with an Achilles injury.
Junior Alyona Shchennikova is expected to return to the LSU lineup on bars and possibly floor after suffering a knee injury at Florida. Senior Bridget Dean is also expected to return to the beam lineup after missing the meet at TWU due to a family matter.
LSU leads the all-time series over Kentucky, 83-8 with the Tigers owning a record of 24-1 in Baton Rouge. LSU lost twice to Kentucky a year ago, once in Lexington and another in the NCAA Second Round. LSU went on to defeat the Wildcats in the NCAA Regional Final to move on to NCAA Championships. LSU’s lone loss to UK in Baton Rouge came in 1996.
Fans can follow the Tigers on the team’s social media channels: @LSUgym on Instagram and Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsugym.