BATON ROUGE - LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux clinched her 600th career victory as the eighth-ranked Tigers set a school record team score in a season opener with a 196.075-194.975 win against No. 22 North Carolina State Friday night in the Maravich Center.
The 196.075 team score beat the previous school record for a season opener, a 195.725 in the 2008 Cancun Classic.
Before a lively crowd of 3,504, the Tigers dazzled the fans with a spectacular 49.525 on floor to pull away from the Wolfpack in the final rotation. The 49.525 is tied for the eighth-highest floor score in school history as the Tigers also scored it April 2, 2002 at the NCAA Central Regional.
Led by a career-high 9.975 on floor, Rheagan Courville captured her fifth career all-around title with a 39.500, equaling her personal best. Courville also won the beam title with a 9.875 to go along with her floor and all-around titles.
Sarie Morrison finished a perfect 2-for-2, winning the vault and bars titles with a 9.90 and 9.825, respectively, in the two events she competed.
"It was such an exciting night in front of a great crowd," Breaux said. "We opened the night with some mistakes, but we kept pushing. It didn't rattle us, and we finished the meet competing like a championship team. It was a great night."
LSU (1-0) began the meet with a 49.275 on vault, the highest opening-meet score in the event since the 2007 opener when the Tigers recorded a 49.400. Kaleigh Dickson led off with a 9.825, and LSU counted 9.85's from Jessica Savona, Maliah Mathis and Courville as well as Morrison's 9.90.
LSU struggled to maintain the momentum in the second rotation, counting a fall on bars to finish with a 48.250. Morrison led the way with a 9.825, followed by a 9.80 by Courville, 9.775 by freshman Randii Wyrick, 9.725 by Lloimincia Hall and 9.125 by Jessie Jordan.
After two rotations LSU led NC State 97.525-97.375, and the Tigers tallied a 49.025 on beam to hold the advantage over the Wolfpack. Ericka Garcia led off the event with a 9.725 followed by a 9.75 from Dickson. Savona and Hall earned back-to-back 9.80's, while Courville scored a 9.875 and Jordan anchored with a 9.80.
With the team clinging to a 146.550-146.350 lead entering the final rotation, the Tigers exploded for a 49.525, including three scores above a 9.90. Courville was nearly perfect with a 9.975, Hall got the crowd on its feet with a 9.95 and Savona tallied a 9.925 in her first floor routine as a Tiger. Mathis added a solid 9.85, and Dickson opened the event with a 9.825 to get LSU started.
NC State (0-1) was led by junior Diahanna Ham who scored a 9.875 to finish second on vault, a 9.85 on floor and a 39.100 for a third-place all-around finish.
LSU returns to the Maravich Center next Friday to open Southeastern Conference competition against third-ranked Florida who was a 196.575-190.550 winner against Ball State Friday night.
The meet will begin at 7 p.m. CT, and tickets are still available at www.LSUtix.net.
1. LSU 196.075 (VT - 49.275, UB - 48.250, BB - 49.025, FX - 49.525)
2. North Carolina State 194.975 (VT - 48.925, UB - 48.450, BB - 48.625, FX - 48.975)
Individual (Includes first place and all LSU competitors)
Vault - 1. Sarie Morrison 9.90; t3. Rheagan Courville 9.85; t3. Maliah Mathis 9.85; t3. Jessica Savona 9.85; t6. Kaleigh Dickson 9.825; 9. Lloimincia Hall 9.775
Bars - 1. Sarie Morrison 9.825; t2. Rheagan Courville 9.80; t4. Randii Wyrick 9.775; t6. Lloimincia Hall 9.725; 11. Jessie Jordan 9.125; 12. Mckenzie Fox 8.600
Beam - 1. Rheagan Courville 9.875; t2. Lloimincia Hall 9.80; t2. Jessie Jordan 9.80; t2. Jessica Savona 9.80; t6. Kaleigh Dickson 9.75; t8. Ericka Garcia 9.725
Floor - 1. Rheagan Courville 9.975; 2. Lloimincia Hall 9.95; 3. Jessica Savona 9.925; t4. Maliah Mathis 9.85; t6. Kaleigh Dickson 9.825; 12. Jessie Jordan 9.20