The young ladies from LSU's gymnastics team are hoping to win big at this weekend's National Championship in Ft. Worth, Texas.
"There are things that we can take from last year at Nationals, but this year is a new team, a new season and it's something very special," said sophomore Ashleigh Gnat.
This is the fourth straight year the Tigers are making an appearance at Nationals. However, this team is not looking in the past, but instead focusing on their current mission of making program history.
"It's not something we haven't been a part of before, and we know to kind of go in there with the mindset of yes you're going to hear roaring at all different times, but stay with our fans. Stay with each other, and we're going to love the outcome," said senior Lloimincia Hall.
The Tigers come in as the fourth overall seed and a favorite to advance to Saturday's Super Six.
"I know that gymnastics wise, everything that we have is there. That everything we've prepared for this whole season is ready. I think that this team is more ready than ever," said Gnat.
The Tigers are prepared for their biggest weekend of the season, yet their demeanor remains pretty relaxed. That's because the high stakes on a big stage is nothing they haven't seen before.
"The SEC Experience, but also the experience of what we've been able to generate at home. The crowds and the high pressure competition that we face week in and week out within this conference has been the biggest contributor to our success," said head coach D-D Breaux.
The Olympic rotation on Friday will work in the Tigers favor as it is the same as they would in the PMAC, starting on vault where they're ranked 2nd in the nation.
"If we carry momentum from vaulting into bars and the kids just do what they do in practice on bars, nothing extraordinary," said Breaux. "Just give us a good bars performance. And go to beam and just be your best on beam because we're capable of greatness on beam.
"Then go to floor, and it's obvious that we're the best tumbling team in the country. Go out there and prove it. I think we've done the proving. Now we've just got to go out and do it again."
LSU has been ranked as high as number two this season, and there is not much separating them or the other top six seeds here at Nationals.
"We've beaten everyone in the SEC and second to Oklahoma by a little bit, and I think that definitely helps our confidence," said sophomore Sydney Ewing. "We've learned something from each of those meets, and I think it's important to treat this meet like any other one."
The Tigers say they emphasize just being their normal selves, and they say that's more than good enough to spring them to the top.
"Don't take anything for granted. Don't leave anything on the floor. Don't leave anything here at workout," said Hall. "Go back, even if it takes a little bit more time because the difference between winning and losing, especially with the talent that's going to be on the floor, really will be this much."
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