No. 2 LSU comes up just short against No. 1 Florida

LSU gymnast Kiya Johnson during a match against the Florida Gators at the PMAC on Feb. 12,...
LSU gymnast Kiya Johnson during a match against the Florida Gators at the PMAC on Feb. 12, 2021, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.(Source: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics via WAFB)
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 9:35 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The No. 2 LSU gymnastics team put on impressive performances but came up just short against No. 1 Florida at the PMAC on Friday, Feb. 12.

The Tigers (4-1, 3-1 SEC) suffered a 198.150-198.050 heartbreaking loss to the Gators (5-0, 4-0 SEC). The teams combined for the best in the nation in 2021. It was the first time this season that LSU scored a 198.

“That was a heck of a meet and a heavyweight boxing match,” said LSU head coach Jay Clark. “I’m proud of our kids. They fought toe to toe with probably one of the best Florida teams I’ve ever seen. I have nothing but positive things to say about the way they fought and left it all out there tonight.”

LSU grabbed the early .200 lead starting on vault and held it until a fall on the floor exercise. The Tigers scored an NCAA season-high 49.600 on vault, 49.550 on bars, 49.550 on beam, and 49.350 on floor. They entered the meet No. 1 in the nation on floor.

Alyona Shchennikova tied her career-high on bars with a 9.950 Bridget Dean had a career-high 9.925 on beam. Sierra Ballard scored a career-high 9.925 on floor.

The Gators finished with a 49.400 on bars, 49.550 on vault, 49.550 on floor, and 49.650 on beam. They entered the meet as No. 1 on beam in America.

Florida’s Trinity Thomas won the all-around with a 39.900 that included a 10 on the floor exercise. Her all-around score tied for fifth-highest in NCAA history.

LSU will next travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

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