#2 LSU Gymnastics falls at Kentucky

Geaux Nation

LSU gymnast Kira Johnson competes during an NCAA gymnastics meet against Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

LEXINGTON, Ky..– No. 2 LSU (4-3, 3-3 SEC) scored a 49.625 on vault but ultimately fell to No. 11 Kentucky, 196.800-197.100, on Friday night inside Memorial Coliseum.

“We are all disappointed, “This is not who we are nor who we want to be. There were some really great all routines but we cannot continue to give away a tenth here or tenth there. After bars, I think they really answered the bell on vault. Ultimately, we weren’t clean enough today and have to get back in the gym and get on track.”

After a fall on the opening routine of vault, the Tigers lit up five in a row to earn the second-highest score in the country and fourth highest in school history on vault.

Individually, LSU gymnasts put up some of their top performances this season. Sophomores Alyona Shchennikova and Kiya Johnson took the vault title. Shchennikova captured added beam and freshman Haleigh Bryant earned the win on floor.

The Tigers were unable to start strong and earned a 49.025 on bars. Bryant led the squad with a 9.85. Johnson, Shchennikova and Sami Durante all earned a 9.80. Olivia Dunne also contributed with a 9.775.

LSU fought back and lit up vault with one of its best rotations of the season. Shchennikova stuck her Yurchenko 1 ½ and earned a career high 9.95. Freshman Elena Arenas followed with a stuck Yurchenko Full for a 9.925 and career high. Edwards earned a 9.875 in the fourth spot and Johnson followed with a 9.95. Bryant anchored the event with a 9.925.

The floor lineup extended the squad’s lead to 147.975-147.800 in the third rotation. Desiderio matched her season high with a 9.90 in the second spot. Freshman Sierra Ballard bounced back with a 9.85. In the fifth and sixth spot, Edwards scored a 9.90 and Bryant earned a 9.95. LSU also used a 9.725 from Arenas.

Miscues on beam ultimately cost the squad the meet with a 48.285. Shchennikova’s beam win with a career high 9.925 highlighted the rotation. LSU also used a 9.875 from Desiderio and Johnson along with a 9.80 from Dean. A 9.350 from Campbell was also counted.

LSU returns home to take on Missouri in the regular season finale at 7:15 p.m. CT Friday in the PMAC. The meet will be streamed live on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN.com and the app.

(Release via LSU Athletics)

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