From LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE – After posting the highest season-opening score in school history the eighth-ranked LSU gymnastics team will look to carry that momentum into the SEC opener against No. 3 Florida. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. CT Friday inside the Maravich Center.
LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC) enters the meet on the heels of a 196.075 score in a victory against No. 22 North Carolina State in the Maravich Center last week that marked head coach D-D Breaux's 600th career win.
"We came back in the gym this week and put all that behind us," Breaux said. "Our focus on improving has been met with a positive work ethic by our kids and a coaching staff that is in step with each other. If we stay in the process, continue to have the same expectations and know that our practice is going to define our performance each week, I think the kids will continue to respond in a positive way."
Rheagan Courville and Sarie Morrison earned SEC Gymnast of the Week and SEC Specialist of the Week honors, respectively, for their performances against the Wolfpack. In fact, Courville's 39.500 all-around score was the highest in the nation last week, while Morrison captured individual titles in the two events she competed – vault and bars.
The Tigers also received great contributions from Lloimincia Hall, who scored a 9.95 to finish second on floor as well as a 39.250 for second place in the all-around. Jessica Savona scored a 9.925 on floor, 9.85 on vault and 9.80 on beam, and Maliah Mathis added 9.85's on vault and floor.
As a team LSU tallied a 49.525 on floor, the highest floor score in an opener in school history, and the 49.275 on vault marked the highest since a 49.400 in the 2007 opener.
Last season's national runner up, Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC) will visit Baton Rouge following a 196.575-190.550 win over Ball State in Gainesville last Friday. The Gators were led by freshman Bridget Sloan who captured the vault title with a 9.925 and earned SEC Freshman of the Week and sophomore Kytra Hunter who won bars and floor with 9.90's.
LSU and Florida have traditionally competed in close meets, and the Tigers hold a 13-10 all-time advantage against the Gators inside the Maravich Center.
During the meet LSU will honor its 2013 SEC Women's Legend in former SEC champion and All-American Sandra Smith-Thompson, who lettered four years for the Tigers from 1980-83. The SEC will honor Smith-Thompson and the entire legends class at the 2013 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament, March 6-10 in Duluth, Ga.
Before the meet, the first 500 fans to arrive will receive a free LSU "Stand Right Up and Roar" stein.
The meet will be televised on a tape-delay basis by FSN with first air date set for Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. Fans can also access live video with a paid subscription to the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net, and live stats will also be available on LSUsports.net during the meet.
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