From LSU Sports
LOS ANGELES – For the third time in school history the LSU gymnastics team qualified to the Super Six after the Tigers posted a 197.325 to finish second in Semifinal I at the NCAA Championships Friday in Pauley Pavilion.
LSU (24-7) advanced to the Super Six with the highest team score in school history at an NCAA Championship meet at 197.325. The Tigers posted a 49.500 on vault, 49.475 on bars, 49.000 on beam and 49.350 on floor, and the vault and bars totals are the highest at nationals in school history. The floor total is the second highest ever at the championships, and the beam total ranks third.
"We came out and put together a great meet after starting out a little tight on beam," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "This is the best national meet we have had, and the great thing is we know we can score even higher and raise our performances to another level.
"I am so pleased with how hard this team has worked, and I know we can't wait to go out in the Super Six and give it our best shot."
Florida won the semifinal with a 197.775, and Georgia made it a clean sweep of Southeastern Conference teams advancing to the Super Six from the first semifinal with a 197.150. LSU is now 1-2 this year against the Gators and 4-0 versus the Gym Dogs. Minnesota finished fourth with a 196.375, Illinois was fifth at 195.700 and Stanford was sixth at 194.700.
Rheagan Courville captured the vault and floor titles with a 9.95 and 9.90, respectively, and Sarie Morrison won bars for the 12th time this year with a career-high tying 9.95.
LSU got off to a slow start in the first rotation, scoring a 49.000 on beam. Ericka Garcia led off with a 9.40 after the judges claimed she missed a connection on her leap series. Kaleigh Dickson followed with a 9.775, and Britney Taylor earned a 9.75. Lloimincia Hall tallied a 9.80, while Courville led the squad with a 9.85. Jessie Jordan posted a 9.825 in the anchor spot to round out the rotation.
After a bye in the second rotation LSU responded with a 49.350 on floor in the third rotation, the highest floor total of any team in the semifinal. Dickson led off with a season-high tying 9.85. Jordan posted a 9.875, and Maliah Mathis and Jessica Savona followed with matching 9.85s. Courville scored a 9.90 to tie for the event title, and Hall anchored with a 9.875.
In the fourth rotation LSU roared to a 49.500 on vault, the highest vault total of any team in the semifinal. Dickson led off with a 9.875, followed by a 9.825 from Taylor. Jordan tallied a 9.875 and Mathis and Morrison posted back-to-back 9.90s. Courville anchored with a 9.95 to take sole possession of first place in the event.
LSU was in second place after four rotations, and the Tigers never looked back as they racked up a season-high 49.475 on bars in the final rotation. Britney Ranzy led off with a career-high 9.85, and Jordan followed with a personal-best tying 9.875. Dickson posted a 9.85, and Courville earned a 9.875. Randii Wyrick matched her career high for the third time this year with a 9.925, and Morrison anchored the event with a 9.95 to tie for the event crown.
As a team LSU earned 10 total All-America honors, including seven first-team selections. Courville recorded first-team honors on vault, floor and the all-around. Morrison posted first-team honors on vault and bars, while Jordan earned second-team honors on floor and the all-around. Mathis recorded First-Team All-America status on vault, and Wyrick tallied first-team status on bars. For the second season in a row, Hall earned second-team All-America recognition on floor.
The Tigers will find out who they will compete against after the completion of Semifinal II, but one thing LSU does know is that the Tigers will start the Super Six on the bye before bars and rotate to bars, beam, bye, floor and vault.
The Super Six will begin at 6 p.m. CT inside Pauley Pavilion, and Tiger fans can listen to all the action for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.