Gymnastics Season Starts Friday Night at PMAC
BATON ROUGE - LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux will go for win No. 600 in her career when the eighth-ranked Tigers play host to No. 22 North Carolina State in the 2013 season opener Friday night in the Maravich Center.
The meet will begin at 7 p.m. CT, and several promotions will be available to fans with doors to the Maravich Center set to open at 5:30 p.m. Friday will be Kids Day, Dads & Daughters night and will also feature a Girl Scouts clinic. Plus, the first 500 in attendance will receive a free LSU Gymnastics wrist sweatband.
The girl scouts clinic will take place before the meet from 5-6 p.m. in Carl Maddox Field House near the Maravich Center. The dads and daughters event will be held after the meet in the courtside club where fans will hear a presentation from LSU gymnasts and their fathers. To reserve your spot for dads and daughters, visit www.LSUsports.net/dadsanddaughters.
It is also Kids Day with kid-friendly giveaways in the fan zone on the upper concourse inside the Maravich Center.
The meet marks the first time LSU will open the season at home since the 2010 season, and the Tigers expect to face a stiff test from the Wolfpack.
"Usually we open up on the road, so this will be a different mindset for our team," Breaux said. "We want the crowd to get in there and our season ticket holders to be excited to come and see that there is a lot to stand right up and roar about this season."
Tickets are still available at $5 for adults and $3 for youth ages 3-12, and tickets can be purchased on meet day at the Maravich Center ticket office as well as the main ticket office on the first floor of the Athletics Administration Building.
Entering her 36th season as head coach of the Tigers with a 599-384-8 overall record, Breaux is not focused on the potential milestone victory, but instead she is anxious and excited to see how the team will compete.
"Consistency is our main focus, and the gymnasts have trained with routines that are challenging but ones they know they can handle and build on a little bit as we move forward," Breaux said. "It has probably been the best preseason we've ever had. We came back from the holiday break and the kids have worked tirelessly, so we are real excited."
LSU returns 12 letterwinners from the 2012 squad, including four All-American gymnasts in juniors Kaleigh Dickson and Sarie Morrison and sophomores Rheagan Courville and Lloimincia Hall. The Tigers also return seniors Ericka Garcia and Britney Taylor, juniors Casey Duvall, Lainie Fleming, Mckenzie Fox and Maliah Mathis and sophomores Jessie Jordan and Randi Lau.
The team enters the season in relatively good health as Ranzy and Fleming are the only two gymnasts expected to sit out competition with injuries.
"Everybody else is in a good place," Breaux said. "Our upperclassmen are very excited and they know our team is stronger and we have gotten better each year over the last few seasons.
"We want the kids to show that enthusiasm tomorrow night and show that the best is yet to come, but we want to see the kids deliver a solid performance in the opener."
LSU will also welcome the addition of associate head coach Jay Clark, who enters his first season with the Tigers after spending 20 seasons at Georgia, including the last three years as head coach. Assistant coach Bob Moore returns for his 14th season and volunteer assistant coach Ashleigh Clare-Kearney begins her third season after lettering as an All-American and national champion gymnast at LSU from 2005-09.
"I am confident and comfortable with what I have seen in the practice gym and how the kids have responded to Jay, and as a coaching staff we are all looking forward to Friday night because we are excited to get the season going," Breaux said.
For fans who cannot make the meet, live video and live stats will be available on www.LSUsports.net, and fans can also receive meet updates by following LSU Gymnastics on Twitter (@LSUgym) and on www.Facebook.com/LSUgym.