Gymnastics Hosts No. 17 Georgia On Friday Night
BATON ROUGE – The ninth-ranked gymnastics team is set to host No. 17 Georgia inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday, February 3, at 8 p.m. CT.
The meet between the Tigers and the Razorbacks will be aired on SEC Network with Steve Schlanger on the play-by-play and Bridget Sloan as the analyst.
“It’s another SEC meet and we need to win it,” said head coach Jay Clark. “We need to get back in front of our home crowd and continue to grow and take a step forward. Our last meet was not a step backward. We got a lot of the things we wanted out of it, but not everything. I believe in this team. Their hearts and their minds are in the right place and I’m confident that we’ll continue to grow.”
Introductions for the top-20 ranked competition in Baton Rouge are set for 7:52 p.m. inside the arena with the first vault leading off at 8:05 p.m. CT.
Live stats and streaming of the meet can be found on lsusports.net.
Mardi Gras Mike Koozie’s will be given to the first 1,000 fans to arrive as well as a Whataburger giveaway to the first 250 students. Doors to the arena open at 6:30 p.m.
The Series Record
LSU owns an overall record of 41-71-2 against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers are 10-12-1 at home against the Bulldogs and 24-55-2 in the regular season.
The last time the two teams met was in 2022, when No. 6 LSU defeated Georgia 196.850-196.100 on the road in Stegeman Coliseum. The victory marked the Tigers 16th-straight win over the Bulldogs.
LSU will look for its sixth straight win over Georgia inside the PMAC on Friday night.
Last Time On The Floor
In the Tigers last meet, the squad fell to No. 23 Arkansas on the road with a score of 197.250-197.475 in Barnhill Arena.
Alexis Jeffrey got LSU started on bars with a 9.850 while Tori Tatum, Aleah Finnegan, and Haleigh Bryant all added scores of 9.850. Elena Arenas and Alyona Shchennikova both earned a team-high 9.875.
The Tigers and the Razorbacks were all-even at 49.300 heading into the second rotation.
LSU earned a season high 49.500 on vault after a strong performance in Fayetteville. Arenas led off with a 9.825 followed by Shchennikova who matched her season high with a 9.875. Chase Brock scored a 9.900 in the fourth spot to match her career high. KJ Johnson and Bryant put up back-to-back 9.950’s to close out the second rotation and take the co-title.
The Tigers moved on to the third rotation with the 98.800-98.650 lead.
Sierra Ballard led off the floor squad with a 9.825 and Shchennikova followed with a 9.800. Brock had a night and recorded another career high with her 9.825. KJ Johnson had a strong 9.875 performance and Finnegan followed with a 9.900. Bryant anchored with another 9.875 to close out the third rotation with a score of 49.300.
In the final rotation, Kai Rivers led off with a 9.700 on beam followed by a 9.800 from Shchennikova. Ballard scored a 9.750 and Arenas scored a 9.775 in the fourth spot. Bryant posted a 9.900 before Finnegan anchored with a strong 9.925 routine to earn the win.
No. 8 LSU couldn’t find the lead again and fell to No. 23 Arkansas in Fayetteville with a score of 197.250-197.475. The squad’s 197.250 marked the team’s highest road score this season.
Bryant’s vault and all-around titles moved her total to 13 this season while Finnegan earned her fifth title and second on beam. KJ Johnson recorded her first title this season on vault and her second on the event in her career.
Shchennikova recorded a season high all-around score of 39.350 on the night.
Shchennikova, Bryant and Finnegan are expected to be mainstays in the all-around as the team prepares to take on Georgia for another top-25 matchup. Arenas also has the potential to appear in the all-around.
An eight-time All-American, Bryant’s front handspring-front pike half is considered to be one of the best vault’s in collegiate gymnastics. She finished the 2022 regular season as the No. 3 vaulter in all of NCAA Gymnastics and owns six career perfect 10’s on the event.
A native of Cornelius, N.C., Bryant has embraced a larger role this season and has earned 13 titles in the Tiger’s five meets thus far. She has recorded season high’s of 9.950 on bars, beam and floor, and matched her career high 10 on vault against Missouri. Also against Missouri, she matched her career high all-around score of 39.750. The junior is ranked as the seventh all around gymnast in the country and fourth on vault and 12th on beam.
Arenas has been a consistent contender in the vault, bars and beam lineups. The junior from Athens, Georgia, won the SEC vault title in 2021 and owns a season-high score of 9.850 on the event. She also recorded a career high of 9.925 on beam at Kentucky and owns a season-high of 9.875 on bars.
Shchennikova competed in the all-around for the first time this season against Missouri and earned a season high 39.350 at Arkansas. The senior owns season highs of 9.875 on vault and bars, 9.800 on beam and 9.925 on floor.
Kai Rivers provides experience and leadership within the team. After a battle with injury throughout her career, the senior is a staple in the beam lineup and has a season-high of 9.850.
Junior Chase Brock is expected to compete in the vault and floor lineups again after making her debut against Oklahoma. Brock has a season-high of 9.900 on vault and 9.825 on floor.
Ballard has brought the energy to the floor leadoff spot and owns a season high of 9.900 on the event. The Louisiana native debuted on beam against Oklahoma, where she recorded her career high of 9.825.
Sophomores KJ Johnson and Finnegan have made immediate impacts this year after impressive freshman seasons in 2022. KJ Johnson has been a main stay in the vault and floor lineups, where she owns season high scores of 9.950 and 9.925.
A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Finnegan recorded a career high on floor in the team’s season opener against Utah, earning a 9.950. She matched that score against the top-ranked Sooners in the PMAC, where she also earned a season high all-around score of 39.500. The sophomore has also recorded career highs of 9.850 on vault, 9.925 on bars and 9.950 on beam this season.
Tori Tatum, a sophomore from Chanhassen, Minnesota, made her debut on bars against Oklahoma after suffering from an injury last year. Tatum scored a 9.875 in her first ever collegiate routine and recorded a career high 9.900 against Missouri.
Freshman Ashley Cowan, a native of Hillsborough, North Carolina, has been training the uneven bars and has the potential to make an appearance in the lineup. Bryce Wilson, a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, made her collegiate debut on beam in the season opener against Utah where she recorded a career high 9.775. Wilson has the potential to make her way back in the beam lineup against Georgia on Friday night.
Fans can follow the Tigers on the team’s social media channels @LSUgym on Instagram and Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsugym.
Week Four Rankings
The Tigers placed in the ninth spot in the week four Road To Nationals rankings.
After earning a season high road score of 197.250 against Arkansas, LSU boosted their average to 197.040 after five meets with a season high score of 197.450 against top-ranked Oklahoma.
The Tigers moved up to four on vault, six on bars, 17 on beam and stayed at 16 on floor.
Week Four Road To National Rankings (1/30/23)
|23||North Carolina State||196.169|