LIVE BLOG: No. 5 LSU at No. 6 Arkansas

LSU and Arkansas are competing against each other in back-to-back weeks. This time, the meet counts toward the SEC regular season championship standings. Last week’s meet did not since all teams who competed against each other will face each other a second time this season. 

The first meet between the two almost had a dramatic finish, but LSU excelled on floor with a controversial 10.000 for Kiya Johnson and a 9.975 for Haleigh Bryant. Meanwhile, Arkansas had some balance errors on the beam, which included senior Sarah Shaffer falling twice. To wrap things up, LSU was able to prevent an upset by Arkansas, but it was too close for comfort. Despite the loss, Arkansas was able to score their highest opening mark since 2012. 

Arkansas all arounder Kiara Gianfagna is dealing with a foot injury and did not compete last week. LSU freshman Olivia Dunne has a sprained ankle after “stomping around in her Air Force Ones in her apartment.” She was only able to contribute on bars, and it is unknown whether we will see her add beam tonight. 

Bryant was a bright spot for LSU earning the first SEC Freshman of the week award of 2021. Meanwhile, Ashleigh Gnat will have to wait another week for her debut as an assistant coach with LSU as she remains in quarantine.

Arkansas is debuting a new leotard here tonight in their 2021 home opener.


It”s been an exciting day of week 2 NCAA WAG action and this matchup between LSU and Arkansas will certainly provide an action-packed end to the night.


Haleigh Bryant is scheduled to compete in the AA tonight!

It looks like will be starting this liveblog through the ESPN app, as Auburn vs Kentucky is running a bit behind. Bear with me If my updates are a tad slow because Wifi is a thing.

Rotation 1: Arkansas VT, LSU UB

Hickey (Ark): FTY, okay missed most of it because technology. 9.75

Johnson (LSU): Mounts low bar, Maloney, leg separation,  bail to handstand, slightly short, DLO, beautiful form, takes a slight hop back. 9.825

Johnston (Ark): FTY, slight pike down with a hop back. 9.8 

Dean (LSU): Ray, flexed feet on release,  toe-on handstand, bail handstand, short,  DLO, normal form issues. 9.825

Pennesse (Ark): FTY, large step and off to the side. Her first routine since an achilles tear. 9.8

Dunne: (LSU): 9.9, Career High

Olszewski (Ark): FTY, 9.8

Apologies.. The app likes to kick me out.

Bryant(LSU):Blind half to straddle jaeger, Bail to handstand, Blind Change to Double Front Dismount, Great routine. 9.9

Shaffer (Ark): Yurchenko Layout half,  just a hop to bring her  together. 9.825

Schennikova (LSU), Ray, flexed feet, Pak salto, DLO. Best DLO form she’s done, but squats low on landing. 9.925

Hambrick (ARK) Y1.5, Best one she has ever done. Gets the landing on it. 9.9

Durante (LSU): Blind change to piked jaeger, Pak Salto, slight form, holding these handstands well, Half-in, half-out, swings her arms but holds onto the landing. 9.875

AFTER ONE: LSU 49.425, Arkansas 49.150

Rotation 2: LSU VT, Arkansas UB

Apparently LSU’s UB score ties OU’s from last week.

Arenas (LSU): FTY, much better than last week, small hop back. 9.8

Lovett (ARK): Ray, flexed feet, Bail to handstand, nice handstand, blind full to double tuck, small hop

Schennikova (LSU): She fell on this last week, Let”s see if she goes for it, Y1.5, lands stiff legged looks to be okay. 9.825

Gianfagna (Ark): Coming back from a foot injury, did not compete here last week, nice handstand, Tkatchev, short on final handstand, nice ftdb dismount, chest up and just the smallest of hop. 9.875

Brock (LSU): FTY, hop back on landing.

Rutz (Ark): Mounts high, short on handstand, Tkatchev, Clear hip and she comes off the bar. repeats clear hip to Bail handstand, short on final handstand, Blind full to double back, small hop. 9.125

Edwards (LSU): Y1.5, Takes a large step forward. Beautiful in the air. 9.8

Shaffer (Ark): Beautiful low bar handstand, Maloney, Bail to handstand, DLO, stuck. 9.9 Career High

Johnson (LSU):FTY, under-rotated, squats down and has to take a step forward. 

Hambrick (Ark): Blind Change to Piked Jaeger, falls, Arkansas will have to count a far here. overshoot, short on final handstand, sticks FTDB, but swings arm. 

Bryant (LSU): Front Pike Half, her hands were close to the edge of the table. I’m impressed she pulled that off as well as she did. Just a step on landing. 9.85

O’Hara (Ark): It’s so nice to see her compete for Arkansas. Nice first handstand, Blind Change Jaeger, toes pointed on release, DLO, legs glued together and a nice stick. 9.95, Career High. 9.95 Career High

Rough start for Arkansas on the bars tonight. The Razorbacks will have to count a fall here, but the team is showing their potential with career highs from Gianfagna, O’Hara and Shaffer. LSU was much improved on bars in the first rotation. The team will want to focus on landings on the UB and VT going forward. 

AFTER TWO: LSU 98.525, Arkansas 97.8

Rotation 3: Arkansas BB, LSU FX

Lovett (Ark): Love her mount, Full turn, switch leap split jump, front aerial, slight wobble, repeats the skill to get the connection, front aerial LOSO, wobbles again and turns her hips this time. Side aerial, back full, shuffles feet back. 9.775

Amanda Elswick is missing for Arkansas tonight.

Dean (LSU): Double Pike, good landing, back 1.5 to front lay, has to pike down the layout, tour jete ½, split jump full, short of a full split, Double Tuck, good. 9.75

Rutz(Ark): First time competing on the beam,  bhs loso, slight wobble, she has beautiful form, switch leap straddle half, she’s off on the beam here too.. front toss, Large balance check, RO 1.5. She has beautiful lines and there’s a lot to come for this freshman. 9.0

Elswick has an ankle injury.

Campbell (LSU):  Her first apparence on floor. Did not compete last week or at 101 due to COVID. 2.5 twist, weird landing, Double Pike, Switch leap, full straddle ½, stunning on her leaps, 1.5 to front lay, nicely done.9.8.. Score has been updated to a 9.85. Initially, she had only received credit for a 9.9 SV.

O’Hara (Ark): full turn, side aerial bhs, good, split jump, short, double stag ring jump, changes her dismount from the 1.5 last week to a cat leap, side aerial full. Sticks it.  9.925 Career High 

Desiderio (LSU): Double layout, under-rotates it . I think she avoids putting her hands down, but chest was extremely low with a stumble forward, 1.5 to front lay, Switch ring, tour de jete half, short of rotation and split, Only does the double back, short on her last pass. Manages to avoid putting her hands down, but all 3 passes were under-rotated. 9.4

Shaffer (Ark)Fell twice here last week, switch leap straddle half, bhs loso, nicely done, front aerial to beat, wobble, full turn, small balance check, side aerial full, brings feet together. 9.9

Edwards (LSU): Front Double full, well done, Kathy Johnson Clarke called her a “pocket rocket.” Fhs front full, front full, Good, Switch side popa, nicely done, Double tuck. Stuck the landing. That may be the highest double tuck she has done. LSU needed that one. 9.875

Carter (Ark): Bhs loso, beautiful,  beat jump to double stag, front aerial to sissone, nicely done, full turn, gorgeous, aerial back full, hop back. Arkansas is putting together some nice beam routines here. 9.9

Bryant (LSU): Got a 10 from one judge last week, fhs double front, I love that tumbling run, I really like the combination of grace and power in this routine. Front lay to rudi, Switch side, ½ popa, Fhs double full, Great. 9.95

Hambrick (Ark): Bhs Loso, lifts leg up on the wobble, full turn, cartwheel gainer full, stuck. 9.825

Johnson (LSU): Received a 10 last week, Tuck full-in, sky high, 1.5 to front lay, Switch leap ½ popa, nicely done, Double pike, steps forward.  9.95

Arkansas rallied nicely following a fall from Rutz. Shaffer also made a nice statement for herself with a 9.9 after falling twice last week. Desiderio had an underwhelming routine for LSU, but Edwards, Bryant and Johnson came up big on the floor once again.

AFTER THREE: LSU 147.850, Arkansas 147.125

Rotation 4: LSU BB, Arkansas FX

Last rotation, here we go! LSU is in full control,  but last week we saw LSU struggle on the beam with shaky performances from Johnson, Campbell, Durante and Arenas.  They’ll look to  put together a solid rotation. Arkansas will want to improve their control on their landings and perform their choreography. 

Last minute change here, Christina Desiderio has been taken out of the beam lineup. Elena Arenas has been put in.

Arenas (LSU):only got a 9.7 sv last week, Bhs loso, good, Front toss to beat jump, Switch leap to split jump, beautiful leaps, Side aerial, slight wobble, RO 1.5 twist, hop forward. Much better than last week. 9.825

Johnston (Ark): Double Tuck, good rotation, on the larger side of a lunge but has control, Whip half to front full, good, Switch half popa, Double Pike, nice landing. 9.875 Career High

Durante (LSU): Full turn, Bhs loso, was off-center but stays on the beam with a small wobble, Front aerial to split jump, Switch leap to straddle ¼, good flexibility, Side aerial to full, Stuck. 9.85

Hickey (Ark): Double Pike, good lunge back, nicely done leap pas RO 1.5 to front lay, form in her twist, short on her double tuck, takes a step forward with her chest down. 9.625

Bryant (LSU): Beam debut, Front aerial bhs, screen froze, Switch leap, straddle ¼, slight wobble, punch front, split jump, beat jump, Full turn, some nerves here but does well controlling it. Rudi dismount, some form. 9.9

Shaffer (Ark): Double Pike, great, back 1.5 to front lay, nicely done, beautiful attitude turn, Tour jete popa, good, Double Tuck, may have had soft knees on the last landing, but should score very well. 9.9

Dean (LSU) Side Aerial  bhs, nicely done,  Switch leap, Split Jump, Front aerial to beat jump, solid, Side aerial to full, small hop on landing. One of her better ones. 9.9 Career High

Lovett (Ark)DLO, super floaty and sticks it, Front lay to front full to fouette double stag, Tour jete- split full, slightly under, Huge Double tuck. 9.9 

Johnson (LSU) She had a fall on BB last week, Full turn, Bhs Loso, good, Switch leap, switch leap ½, way off center and is off the beam, Front toss, bends at the hip but stays on, RO Double Full, sticks dismount.  9.050 

She has achilles tenderness, so they are managing her practice reps.

Hambrick (Ark): Double Tuck, Arkansas is sky high on their back tumbling passes here, Rudi to back layout to double stag jump, lovely, Switch half popa, Double Pike, great landing. 9.9

Arkansas is showing great stamina and conditioning on the floor.

Campbell (LSU): Bhs loso, finesse’s the landing very well, Full turn, Front aerial to sissone, good, Switch leap switch half, slightly under rotation, RO double full, small shuffle hop back. 9.9

Carter(Ark): Double Tuck, nicely done, RO 1.5 to front full, good, Her footwork on floor is impeccable, Switch half to split full, Double Pike. Great routine. 

What a final rotation! Arkansas had a huge performance on the floor to cap off their night. Endurance was not an issue for them here and the landings were much improved from last week. LSU saw nice routines from their freshman class. Arenas was added as a last minute sub and Bryant made her event debut tonight. Cambell put together a nice pressure set in the anchor position.

FINAL:  LSU 197.225, Arkansas 196.625

Both teams improved upon their scoring here since last week.

Team Winner: LSU 197.225

AA Winner: Haleigh Bryant – 39.6 

VT Winner: Kennedy Hambrick – 9.9

UB Winner: Maggie O’Hara 9.95

BB Winner: Maggie O’Hara 9.925

FX Winner: Haleigh Bryant 9.95 and Kiya Johnson 9.95


Live blog by Katie Walsh

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