Information Provided by LSU Athletics FORT WORTH, Texas – All season the fourth-ranked LSU gymnastics team fought to reach the NCAA Championships for a shot at making history, and now the Tigers have that chance when they compete in semifinal two at 7 p.m. CT Friday in the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena.
LSU (24-2) will take on No. 1 Oklahoma (21-0), No. 5 Alabama (20-3), No. 8 Auburn (14-9), No. 9 Nebraska (26-6) and No. 12 Oregon State (18-9) for the right to advance to the NCAA Super Six Finals on Saturday.
With a top-three finish in the semifinal, the Tigers would clinch their third straight Super Six appearance and fifth overall in program history.
LSU looks to build off the last two seasons of success at the championships when the squad placed fifth in 2013 and a program-best third in 2014.
“In championship season when there is this much parity and so many talented teams in the country, it can be anybody's competition,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “You have to be on from the start because you can't dig a hole and expect to get out of it, and I know our team is prepared to start strong.”
LSU will have Olympic rotation order by starting on vault and progressing to a bye, bars, beam, bye and floor to end the meet.
“Opening on vault is a great place to start because we have a balanced lineup in which everyone is capable of excellence,” Breaux said. “If we carry momentum from vaulting to bars and the gymnasts just do what they do in practice, we can put up a great score. We are capable of greatness on beam with the lineup we have, and I believe we are the best tumbling team in the country on floor.
“We have done the proving all season long of how we good are, but now it's crucial to do it a few more times.”
The Tigers are led by a balanced and deep lineup with contributions from 11 gymnasts, paced by nationally-ranked all-arounders Rheagan Courville, Jessie Jordan and Ashleigh Gnat. Courville is No. 4 in the all-around national rankings, while Jordan is No. 5 and Gnat is No. 13.
Lloimincia Hall is ranked No. 1 on floor, and Myia Hambrick is 18th on vault.
As a team LSU ranks in the Top 5 in every event as the Tigers are No. 1 nationally on floor, No. 2 on vault, No. 4 on beam and No. 5 on bars.
By comparison, Oklahoma is No. 1 on beam, No. 2 on floor, No. 3 on bars and No. 4 on vault.
Alabama is No. 4 on floor and No. 5 on vault, bars and beam.
Auburn is No. 8 on vault and beam, No. 11 on floor and No. 12 on bars.
Nebraska is No. 6 on vault, No. 10 on floor, No. 13 on bars and No. 15 on beam.
Oregon State is No. 7 on floor, No. 12 on beam, No. 13 on vault and No. 14 on bars.
Oklahoma will start the semifinal on the bye before floor, while Alabama starts on floor, Auburn is on bars, Nebraska is on beam and Oregon State is on the bye before bars.
The top three finishers in semifinal two will meet the top three teams from semifinal one in the Super Six at 6 p.m. Saturday. The first semifinal starts at 1 p.m. Friday and features No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Utah, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 Georgia and No. 11 Stanford.