Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Brandon Berrio
BATON ROUGE – After scoring its second-highest team road score of the 2022 season, the LSU gymnastics team moved up to fifth in the second edition of the National Qualifying Score (NQS) rankings.
The Tigers own an NQS of 197.515, which is the average of a team’s top six scores, three of which must be away and the highest score dropped. LSU’s six scores are 196.950, 197.975 and 198.050 from home meets and 197.675, 197.825 and 197.200 away from the PMAC.
LSU is one of six teams with a team score of 198 or higher this season. Michigan owns the top spot with an NQS of 197.920 followed by Oklahoma (197.860), Florida (197.715) and Utah (197.685).
The Tigers rank second on vault, fourth on bars, eighth on beam and 10th on floor. Sophomore Haleigh Bryant is the No. 1 performer in the nation on vault and ranks eighth on bars. Junior Kiya Johnson is 17th on vault and 19th on beam. Senior Sami Durante ranks 12th on bars and freshman KJ Johnson is 17th on vault.
LSU has three more meets to improve its NQS before the NCAA bracket is released. The Tigers have two more chances to improve its low home score and one more away meet to replace its low of 197.200. The squad will take on Kentucky in the final SEC meet of the regular season at 7:15 p.m. Friday in the PMAC.
Top-25 Rankings, Average
1. Michigan, 197.920
2. Oklahoma, 197.860
3. Florida, 197.715
4. Utah, 197.685
5. LSU, 197.515
6. Auburn, 197.455
7. Alabama, 197.360
8. California, 197.065
9. Minnesota, 197.015
10. Kentucky, 196.985
11. Missouri, 196.890
12. Michigan State, 196.795
13. Denver, 196.710
14. BYU, 196.615
15. Arizona State, 196.520
16. Utah State, 196.435
17. UCLA, 196.430
18. Ohio State, 196.365
19. Iowa, 196.325
20. Stanford, 196.165
21. Southern Utah, 196.150
22. Illinois, 196.110
23. Boise State, 196.105
24. Towson, 196.065
25. San Jose State, 196.045
Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
By: LSU Staff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No.5 LSU gymnastics team scored a 197.825 in a loss to No. 4 Florida Friday night at Exactech Arena.The Tigers dropped to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, while Florida improved to 8-0 and 5-0 in the SEC.
“I was proud of our resiliency today,” head coach Jay Clark said. “It was a crazy environment and our team really responded when they need to. We know how hard it is to win at Florida, but we leave with a really strong road score. We’ll take a couple days off and get back in the gym before a tough stretch next weekend with two meets.”
LSU and Florida were tied at 148.350 heading into the final rotation but the Tigers scored a 49.475 on beam and were unable to keep up with Florida’s 49.800 on floor.
The squad opened the night on bars with a 49.425. Kiya Johnson and Kai Rivers each scored a 9.825. Olivia Dunne posted a 9.90 in the third spot and she was followed by Haleigh Bryant with a career high 9.95. Alyona Shchennikova scored a 9.85 and Sami Durante anchored with a 9.90.
LSU cut into Florida’s lead on vault after a 49.475. Sarah Edwards scored a season high 9.875 and Elena Arenas followed with a 9.85. KJ Johnson matched her career high with a 9.90 and Kiya Johnson set a new career high with a 9.95. Bryant anchored vault with a 9.90.
The floor lineup earned a 49.450 to tie things going into the final rotation. Christina Desiderio opened with a 9.90 and Alyona Shchennikova scored a 9.85. KJ Johnson matched her career high once again with a 9.95 and Aleah Finnegan set a new high with a 9.90. Kiya Johnson anchored the floor lineup with a 9.85.
In the final rotation, LSU showed poise in a raucous environment to score a 49.475. Desiderio, Bridget Dean and Aleah Finnegan all scored a 9.875. Rivers entered the lineup for an injured Bryant in the fifth spot and scored a 9.90. Johnson wrapped up the night with a 9.95 to set a season high.
LSU returns home for the start of a double weekend. The Tigers face off against Alabama at 8 p.m. CT Friday in the PMAC. The squad then travels to take on Missouri and Arkansas in a rescheduled meet on Sunday in Columbia, Missouri.
Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Information
BATON ROUGE – In front of the second-largest crowd in the history of the program, the eighth-ranked LSU gymnastics team remained undefeated with a season-high score of 197.975 to take the win over No. 6 Auburn Saturday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.A crowd of 13,569 fans watched LSU move to 3-0 and 2-0 in the SEC with the win. The victory marked the 300th in the history of the PMAC.
“Today was what it was supposed to feel like in the PMAC,” head coach Jay Clark said. “We really needed a meet like that. We were tight early but they settled down and started looking like what we see day in and day out. The fans today gave us the juice to finish strong today.
Haleigh Bryant and Kiya Johnson scored a perfect 10 on vault and floor to lift the Tigers to the victory. Bryant’s perfect score marked the third of her career with all coming on vault. Johnson ended the night in style with a perfect score on floor. The 10 marked the sixth of her career with one on vault, one on beam and four on floor. Bryant also picked up the all-around win with a career high 39.675 in the all-around.
All tied at 148.200 with only rotation remaining, the LSU floor lineup punctuated the day and win with a 49.775 for the highest score in school history. Christina Desiderio capped off the best night of her career with a 9.95 to set a new career high. Alyona Shchennikova followed with a 9.925 to tie her career high. Freshman KJ Johnson then set a new career high in her third collegiate routine with a 9.95. Following a 9.80 for Aleah Finnegan in her debut, Bryant Johnson made their triumphant return to the floor. Bryant scored a 9.95 and Johnson ended with a 10.
LSU opened the meet with a steady 49.375 on vault. Elena Arenas opened with a 9.85 and KJ Johnson matched her career high on vault with a 9.90. Sarah Edwards and Kiya Johnson scored a 9.875 in the fourth and fifth spot. Bryant anchored with the 10 to give LSU a slim lead after one rotation.
Auburn overtook the home team in the second rotation after LSU was unable to get their landings. Kiya Johnson opened with a 9.80 and Olivia Dunne scored a 9.825. Following Bryant’s 9.875, Shchennikova and senior Durante steadied the squad with a 9.925 and 9.975. Durante’s 9.975 matched a career high for the senior.
Down to Auburn 98.750-98.825, the LSU beam team delivered its best performance of the season with a 49.450. Desiderio started things off with a 9.925 and Durante also scored a 9.85. Bryant put up a 9.875 and Finnegan set a new career high with a 9.90. Following a fall, Johnson scored a crucial 9.90 to even the meet heading into the final rotation and put the Tigers in position to earn the win.
LSU faces another top-5 team in the gauntlet of a schedule. The Tigers will travel to face Florida in Gainesville at 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes