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Gymnastics Takes Momentum to Auburn
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Published: February 21, 2013, 11:32 AM (CT)
by Jake Terry (@LSUjake), Associate SID

AUBURN, Ala. - The sixth-ranked LSU gymnastics team will try to finish 4-0 in the month of February when the Tigers take on No. 14 Auburn at 7 p.m. CT Friday inside Auburn Arena.

LSU (8-2, 4-1 SEC) earned wins at Kentucky, at Missouri and home against Arkansas this month, and the Tigers face off against an Auburn squad that has hit its stride with four straight 196 scores.

LSU has been solid on the road this year, topping the 197 mark twice, including a season-high 197.275 at Missouri on Feb. 8 which ranks as the best road score for the Tigers since 2005.

LSU has also registered a perfect 10 in back-to-back meets with Lloimincia Hall on floor at Missouri and Sarie Morrison on vault against Arkansas, the first time the Tigers have earned a 10 in two straight meets since the 2004 season.

LSU head coach D-D Breaux said the success has been a direct result of the team's determination in practice.

"It really shows the focus of this team and the commitment to excellence that we are coaching in practice," Breaux said. "We have demanded more out of the kids on a day-to-day basis in practice, and we are seeing the results and success on the weekends."

The Tigers enter the meet fresh off a 196.825 in a win against Arkansas. Ranked No. 2 nationally on vault and floor, LSU lived up to the billing against the Razorbacks with a 49.425 on floor and 49.400 on vault, and the Tigers also added a 49.325 on bars.

Nine different LSU gymnasts scored a 9.80 or higher against Arkansas, including Morrison's 10, Rheagan Courville's 9.95 on vault and Lloimincia Hall's 9.95 on floor.

Auburn (2-7, 2-4) is coming off a solid 196.575 in a loss at Alabama, and the Tigers have scored a 196 or higher in four straight meets for the first time since 2009. Auburn holds a season high of 196.725, and the Tigers are led individually by freshman Caitlin Atkinson and senior Petrina Yokay who rank 23rd and 24th, respectively, in the all-around. Atkinson also ranks 15th on beam while sophomore Megan Walker is No. 11 on beam.

"This meet will be a big test for us, especially with Auburn competing at a high level, and we have to rise and be as good as the best teams in the country in order to fulfill our goals in this meet," Breaux said.

LSU leads the all-time series against Auburn 65-13, including a 10-5 mark on the Plains, but LSU is searching for its first win at Auburn since 2007.

Live audio will be available free of charge in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live with Mike Smith and Shelby Prunty calling all the action starting at 6:55 p.m.

Fans can also receive live updates by following LSU gymnastics through social media - @LSUgym on Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsugym.

 

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