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Gymnastics Hosts No. 9 Alabama In Final Conference Matchup

Gymnastics Hosts No. 9 Alabama In Final Conference Matchup

BATON ROUGE — The No. 2 LSU Gymnastics team (7-3, 4-2 SEC) will host No. 9 Alabama (9-2-1, 3-2-1 SEC) in the team’s last conference matchup inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday, March 1 at 5 p.m. CT. 

“Last week we showed that we can compete on the road and that was something that we needed to feel good about, and now we get to come home and get back in the PMAC in front of our home crowd,” said head coach Jay Clark. 

“We still have plenty of room to improve, but I’m pleased at the direction we’re headed and ready to keep continuing to get better. The mindset for us this week is just to have a great home performance and secure the win. We want to stay focused on the task at hand and take it one meet at a time.”

The Tigers will compete in back-to-back week’s nationally on ESPN2 as they welcome the Crimson Tide to Baton Rouge for another top-10 conference matchup. Bart Conner and Sam Peszek will be on the call this week. Introductions of the team will begin at 4:49 p.m. in the PMAC with the first vault starting at 5:02 p.m. CT. 

Live stats for the meet are available on


There will be a giveaway of 2,500 light up wands as well as a free t-shirt giveaway to the first 250 students for student point night in the PMAC. The doors to the arena open at 3:30 p.m. CT.

All meet promotions and giveaways items for the 2024 season can be found here.

Scouting The Crimson Tide

Friday’s dual-meet is the Tigers regular season conference finale in the PMAC and the 19th consecutive dual-meet between LSU and Alabama in the regular season. 

LSU has a 31-102-2 overall record with Alabama and are 14-17-2 when facing them at home. 

The Tigers are 8-2 in the last 10 regular season meets against the Tide and are currently on a two-meet regular season winning streak.

Alabama broke the 198 mark for the first time this year in their last meet as they defeated No. 18 Georgia by a final score of 198.075-196.975. The score tied for the third highest team score in program history.

The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 9 nationally and place eighth on vault, second on bars and fifteenth on beam and floor. The Tide currently sit in fourth in the conference with their NQS of 197.425.

Individually, Luisa Blanco holds a top-10 ranking on vault and is also No. 13 on uneven bars and No. 11 in the all-around

Last Time On The Floor

The Tigers fell to No. 5 Florida by a final score 198.150-197.950 last Friday night in Gainesville.

The score was a season best on the road for LSU and the program’s fourth highest score away from home and highest score posted by the Tigers in the O’Connell Center.

The LSU vault squad recorded a season high 49.550 in the second rotation to even the competition with the Gators at 98.825 at the halfway point in the O’Connell Center.

Freshman Amari Drayton performed a nearly perfect routine on vault with her score of 9.975 to earn the top spot on the night and her first event victory in her young career.

The Tigers continued to prove to be one of the top floor squad’s in the nation after matching the program’s highest score on the event and posting their second 49.775 of the year against the Gators.

Finnegan recorded back-to-back perfect scores as she earned a 10 in the fourth spot on floor for the Tigers. It was her fourth perfect score on the event and sixth in her career.

The junior finished as the top floor performer on the night for her second floor title this year to move her total to seven on the event. She now owns 19 individual wins in her career.

The Tigers’ 49.775 floor performance was the highest ever recorded on the road and put LSU in the lead heading into the final rotation by a score of 148.600-148.450.

LSU ultimately came up short in Gainesville and fell to Florida despite a strong road performance.

Bryant continues to show out for the Tigers as she recorded scores of 9.9+ on every event for LSU and had a score of 39.750 on the night.

Week Eight Rankings

The Tigers held onto the No. 2 spot in the national polls in the first week of National Qualifying Score (NQS) rankings.

Rankings are now determined by NQS, which is a team’s top six scores from the season, three of which must be away scores, removing the highest score and averaging the remaining five. 

The Tigers own an NQS of 49.445 (2) on vault, 49.435 (5) on bars, 49.435 (4) on beam and 49.635 (1) on floor to place them in the top-five on every event for the second consecutive week. 

This week’s floor ranking marks the fourth time this season that the Tigers have taken the top spot in the event as the squad own the highest score on the event in the country. LSU has ranked in the top-20 nationally on every event for five consecutive weeks this season. 

Haleigh Bryant remains the No. 1 gymnast in the country for the sixth consecutive week with her NQS of 39.730. The senior continues to be the top all-around performer in the country and enters this week with an NQS of 9.900 or higher on every event.

Bryant ranks in the top-15 individually across the board, including the top spot on vault with her NQS of 9.940 on the event. She ranks eighth on bars, seventh on beam and thirteenth on floor. The senior has earned a spot amongst the top-25 gymnasts on every event for seven consecutive weeks.

Kiya Johnson is one of the top-25 gymnasts in the country as she sits at No. 20 in the all-around with her NQS with 39.440. The fifth-year senior also earned a spot in the individual floor rankings at No. 25 on vault and No. 17 on floor.

Aleah Finnegan and Konnor McClain also earned spots in the individual event rankings this week. Finnegan ranks No. 5 on floor with her NQS of 9.945 while McClain sits at No. 10 with her NQS of 9.925.

Program History 

Head Coach Jay Clark enters his fourth season leading the Tigers and 13th season overall as he continues to grow the LSU Gymnastics program. He is joined by Assistant Coaches Garrett Griffeth, Ashleigh Gnat and Courtney McCool Griffeth. Gnat is in her fourth season with the Tigers while the Griffeth duo enters their third season on staff. 

The Tigers climbed their way to the NCAA Championship Final in Fort Worth for the ninth time in program history last year as they look to secure their spot in the championship again in 2024. The Final Four appearance marked the second time that LSU has advanced to the finals since the format began in 2019 and the first time under Clark’s tenure.

Last season marked the program’s 38th straight appearance in the NCAA postseason and 40th overall appearance for the Tigers. With the team advancing out of regionals, LSU marked their 32nd program appearance in the NCAA Championships.

LSU has a total of 16 individual national titles across 10 gymnasts in program history, including current senior Haleigh Bryant who was named the NCAA vault champion in 2021.

The Tigers own four SEC Championship titles in program history, winning three consecutive titles from 2017 to 2019. The last time LSU took home the conference title was in 2019 in the Smoothie King Center, the site of this year’s conference championship.

The 2024 Squad

This year’s roster is composed of 22 gymnasts with 11 seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. The Tigers welcomed two transfers this year in Savannah Schoenherr and Jillian Hoffman and four new freshmen as Konnor McClain, Amari Drayton, Kylie Coen and Leah Miller begin their first year in the Purple & Gold.

Cammy Hall is a sixth-year who is returning this year from injury, while fifth-year seniors Kiya Johnson, Alyona Shchennikova and Kai Rivers all returned for their final year of competition with the Tigers. 

Haleigh Bryant, Sierra Ballard, Chase Brock, Elena Arenas and Olivia Dunne all enter their senior year while Aleah Finnegan, Alexis Jeffrey, Tori Tatum, KJ Johnson begin their junior season.

Ashley Cowan, Bryce Wilson and Annie Beard enter their second year as Tigers.


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