LOS ANGELES – The fifth-ranked LSU gymnastics team sets its sights on the Super Six when the Tigers compete in Semifinal I at the NCAA Championships Friday in Pauley Pavilion. LSU (20-6) will face No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Georgia, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Stanford and No. 16 Illinois at 2 p.m. CT Friday, and the top three finishers will advance to the Super Six Saturday.
Live audio is available free of charge in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live, and Mike Smith and Shelby Prunty will call all the action inside Pauley Pavilion. Fans can also find links to live video and stats of the semifinal at LSUsports.net.
LSU is seeking its third appearance in the Super Six after qualifying in 2008 and 2009, and the Tigers are riding the momentum of the 12th regional title in school history after a first-place finish at the Columbus (OH) Regional on April 6.
"We have four events and no room for error because the competition is so strong at this level, and we have to stay in the process, continue to focus, push ourselves and create our own excitement," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "We talk to our team about staying in the ‘purple zone' and having the ‘eye of the tiger,' and we have seen that with this team at times during the regular season and we saw it at SEC's and regionals.
"The key thing for us is to build momentum when we start on balance beam, which has been a very good event for us, and make it a good event in the semifinal. We need to start strong and finish on that same note."
LSU will open the meet on beam and rotate to a bye, floor, vault, bye and bars. Entering the championships, the Tigers rank No. 1 as a team on vault, No. 5 on floor, No. 11 on bars and No. 12 on beam.
The Tigers are led by NACGC/W First-Team Regular Season All-Americans Rheagan Courville, Lloimincia Hall and Sarie Morrison as well as SEC Floor champion Jessica Savona and regional all-around champion Jessie Jordan. LSU will also rely on Kaleigh Dickson, Britney Taylor, Maliah Mathis, Britney Ranzy and Randii Wyrick.
LSU is 1-1 this season against the top-ranked Gators, beating Florida at home on Jan. 11 and falling at the SEC Championship. Florida enters the meet as the top-ranked team on bars, beam and floor and the No. 3 squad on vault.
LSU is 3-0 this season against Georgia with wins at home in the Maravich Center, at the Metroplex Challenge and at the SEC Championship. The Gym Dogs are ranked third nationally on bars, fourth on beam, eighth on vault and 10th on floor.
LSU has not faced Minnesota, Stanford or Illinois this season, and all three teams earned spots at nationals with a second-place finish during regional competition.