BATON ROUGE – For the first time in school history, the fifth-ranked LSU gymnastics squad eclipsed a 197 team score in a season opener as the Tigers rolled to a 197.200 in a victory over Centenary Friday night in the Maravich Center.
The previous high score in a season opener was a 196.075 last season against North Carolina State.
LSU (1-0) fed off the energy of 3,363 fans in the arena throughout the competition, scoring a 49.425 on vault, 49.125 on bars, 49.250 on beam and 49.400 on floor to reach the final 197.200 total.
Centenary finished with a 181.575 to fall to 0-1 to open the season.
Junior Rheagan Courville captured the all-around title, the 14th all-around crown of her career, with a 39.600, while junior Jessie Jordan set a career-high with a 39.500 to place second in the all-around.
“Momentum is a very strong medicine, and once you start feeding on it, it can really take you a long way,” head coach D-D Breaux. “We have a great team, and they have prepared well every time we go in the gym. They are responsive and extremely coachable, and they are destined for greatness.”
LSU got off to a fast start with a 49.425 on vault, the best team vault total in a season opener since a 49.450 to open the 2007 season. Sarie Morrison posted a 9.925 to take home the event title, while Jordan placed second with a 9.90. Courville and Britney Ranzy tied for third with a 9.875. Kaleigh Dickson scored a 9.85, and Ashleigh Gnat posted a 9.775 in her first performance as a Tiger.
LSU tallied a 49.125 on bars, finishing strong in the event with a 9.825 by Jordan, 9.875 from Ranzy, 9.85 from Courville and a 9.925 from Morrison. It marked the 21st bars title in Morrison’s career, extending her own LSU record.
Courville and Jordan led the way on beam with matching 9.925’s at the end of the lineup. Gnat registered a 9.850, Hall scored a 9.80 and freshman Sydney Ewing tallied a 9.750 in her first performance at LSU to help the Tigers tally a 49.250 in the event.
LSU wrapped up the meet with a 49.400 on floor, highlighted by a near-flawless performance from Courville that scored a 9.95. Jessica Savona finished second in the event with a 9.90, and Gnat was third with a 9.875. Jordan added a 9.85, and Lloimincia Hall earned a 9.825 to round out the scoring.
“We are where we need to be to start the season,” Breaux said. “Picking a lineup is extremely difficult because our ladies all compete their hardest in the gym, and it showed tonight. This team is the real deal.”
The Tigers travel to Athens, Ga., next week to face No. 8 Georgia at 6:30 p.m. CT in the Southeastern Conference opener.
1. LSU 197.200 (VT – 49.425, UB – 49.125, BB – 49.250, FX – 49.400)
2. Centenary 181.575 (VT – 46.700, UB – 43.350, BB – 47.275, FX – 44.250)
Individual (Includes first place and all LSU competitors)
Vault – 1. Sarie Morrison 9.925, 2. Jessie Jordan 9.90, t3. Rheagan Courville 9.875, t3. Britney Ranzy 9.875, 5. Kaleigh Dickson 9.85, 6. Ashleigh Gnat 9.775
Bars – 1. Sarie Morrison 9.925, 2. Britney Ranzy 9.875, 3. Rheagan Courville 9.850, 4. Jessie Jordan 9.825, 5. Jessica Savona 9.65, 6. Shae Zamardi 9.225
Beam – t1. Rheagan Courville 9.925, t1. Jessie Jordan 9.925, 3. Ashleigh Gnat 9.85, 4. Lloimincia Hall 9.80, 5. Sydney Ewing 9.75, t6. Jessica Savona 9.70
Floor – 1. Rheagan Courville 9.95, 2. Jessica Savona 9.90, 3. Ashleigh Gnat 9.875, 4. Jessie Jordan 9.85, 5. Lloimincia Hall 9.825, 6. Maliah Mathis 9.725