How is it already the final weekend of SEC meets?! Season is going by way too fast, but welcome to 2021’s final edition of Friday Night Heights! Tonight’s meet features LSU and Missouri in what should be a lopsided but fun matchup between the Tiger squads.
Despite being ranked third in the country, LSU comes into this meet on a three meet losing streak having lost to Florida, Alabama and Kentucky. LSU didn’t necessarily have bad meets (except for the Kentucky loss), but couldn’t pull together enough big performances to overcome team’s having their best meets of the year. Missouri isn’t quite as strong as the three aforementioned teams are so I don’t expect an upset tonight, especially since LSU has outscored Missouri every week this season.
LSU will primarily be aiming for one last 198 before heading into the postseason in two weeks. It was able to do it against Florida even counting a miss on floor, but had to be nearly perfect in every other routine to do so. Haleigh Bryant sat out beam last weekend, but I believe will be back in the lineup as her routine has the scoring potential LSU needs to be able to accomplish the sacred 198. I’d imagine getting Kiya Johnson back into the floor lineup before SEC’s would be an ideal situation for LSU as well. Reagan Campbell has been dealing with a hip injury, so her presence in lineups is something to keep an eye on.
On the flip side, Missouri will be aiming for its first score of 197 or better, and we all know the typical scoring at the PMAC gives them a great chance to do so. Missouri has made solid pushes to hit that number the past two meets, but weren’t able to string together enough 9.9s to get there. Beam, however, has been the one area Missouri gymnasts have been able to hit that mark. If Missouri can somehow keep it close until the final rotation, strong routines from Gabrielle Gottula and Sienna Schreiber could lead the way to a huge upset. But don’t put your money on Missouri being able to be in a position to do so.
Early lineups for LSU!
So we’ve got Johnson back on floor, Bryant back on beam, but missing Campbell from beam and floor. Likely still recovering from her hip injury.
Tentatives for Missouri.
Rotation 1: LSU Vault, Missouri Bars
Durante (LSU): Yfull. Clean in the air, some flexed feet, small slide back. Much better than last week’s fall. 9.825
Hufendiek (Miz): Giant half to jager, bail to a great handstand, jumps to high bar, a little shy of handstand, giant full to double tuck with chest down and a hop. 9.650
Shchennikova (LSU): Y1.5. Goes for the stick, comes in a little short and takes a big step back. 9.750
Sheremeta (Miz): Mounts to high bar, nice handstand, giant half to jager, nice catch, clear hip to bail, a little loose, hops to high bar, short on final handstand, giant half to Rudi, small shuffle. 9.775
Arenas (LSU): Yfull. Clean form and just a tiny slide. 9.875
Patrick (Miz): Giant half to jager, some knees in the air, a little crooked on the bail, hops to high bar, double layout dismount, nearly stuck but takes a hop. 9.725
Edwards (LSU): Y1.5. Huge in the air, opens up early and takes a step forward. 9.900
Marshall (Miz): Good first handstand, giant half to jager to overshoot, jumps to high bar, good final handstand, FTDT dismount, a deep squat and step back. 9.750
Johnson (LSU): Ydouble. Big air, near stick and steps very quickly into the salute to cover as best she can. 9.950
Schreiber (Miz): Mounts on the low bar, goes too hard for the first handstand, arches and comes off, gets back on and does a great Maloney to bail, hops to the high bar, dismounts with a nice double layout and a small hop in place. 9.225
Bryant (LSU): Front pike half. Finally gets the stick! Finally gets her 10.000!
Newson (Miz): Giant half to piked jager, toe on to bail, a bit piked, jumps to high bar, missed final handstand, sticks a pikey double layout. 9.750
We were also treated to a stuck Y1.5 from Kamryn Ryan in an exhibition vault. If I see a score I will post it. 9.950!
After 1: LSU 49.550, Missouri 48.650
That vault from Bryant was phenomenal! Honestly one of the best vault’s I’ve seen in a long time. And after Shchennikova’s iffy landing that big score came at the right time to keep LSU on pace for 198. Missouri was dinged quite a bit for missed handstands, and the fall from Schreiber really hurt. Missouri will need to be near perfect from here on out to be able to muster a 197.
Rotation 2: Missouri Vault, LSU Bars
Schreiber (Miz): Yfull. Gorgeous in the air, small hop back. 9.800
Johnson (LSU): Maloney to bail, hits her handstand, hops to high bar, a good handstand, toe on, sticks her double layout! 9.850
Patrick (Miz): Yfull. Nice in the air again and just a small hop, good distance. 9.800
Brock (LSU): Starts off by immediately going over on her giant half pirouette and comes off, repeats it into her tkatchev, bail, short on a few handstands, hops to high bar, stuck FTDT. 9.250
Gottula (Miz): Yfull. Good height, big step back, piked at the end. 9.775
Dunne (LSU): Nice first handstand, good tkatchev to pak, wonky on the half pirouette, dismounts with a double layout, very piked and a step. 9.775
Marshall (Miz): Yfull. Pretty piked and just a small hop in place. 9.800
Bryant (LSU): Good first handstand, giant half to jager, huge, great bail, jumps to high bar, good handstand, giant half to double front, opens early and takes a big step back. 9.825
McCrary (Miz): Yfull. Looked crunched on the block but gets great distance, big step. 9.775
Shchennikova (LSU): Ray to pak, very quick, half pirouette, jumps to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, tiny bit short on a few handstands throughout. 9.900
Hufendiek (Miz): Yfull. Good in the air but quite a large hop back. 9.725
Durante (LSU): Nice first handstand, giant half to jager, big air, pak, leg separation, hits the half pirouette and jumps to the high bar, FTDT dismount, big squat and takes a step. 9.900
Schaffer vaults a Yfull in an exhibition routine for Missouri that should’ve been in the lineup. Only a small hop.
Rotation 2: Missouri 48.950, LSU 49.250
After 2: LSU 98.800, Missouri 97.650
Neither team did themselves any favors in their quests for their target scores. Missouri could not get any landings to go its way and scores reflected that. The vaults themselves were fine, just way too many steps and hops. LSU also gave away way too many tenths here and there, especially after Johnson’s leadoff that set the stage for big scores. LSU now only has eight tenths of deductions left to play with if it hopes to hit 198 again.
Rotation 3: LSU Beam, Missouri Floor
Desiderio (LSU): Switch leap to switch half to beat jump, BHS LOSO, looked crooked but no problems, full turn, moving quickly, front aerial, flawless, cat leap to stuck gainer full! 9.950!
Schreiber (Miz): Front full to front layout opening pass, good landing, Rudi to LOSO, very floaty, switch leap full to split full, around cleanly. 9.725
Durante (LSU): Easy full turn, BHS LOSO, almost a check but holds steady, front aerial to split jump, looked off but works through it, switch leap to straddle quarter, side aerial to stuck layout full. 9.875
Marshall (Miz): Opens with a front tuck through to double pike, controlled lunge, switch ring to split half, easy, RO 1.5 to front pike, closes with a double tuck, great landing. 9.850
Bryant (LSU): Front aerial to BHS, tiny arm check to her left, switch leap to straddle quarter, front tuck, big check, split leap to beat jump, quick full turn, Rudi dismount, stuck. 9.800
Gottula (Miz): Some Lil’ Wayne music to start, mounts with a double pike, bouncy lunge, nice height in the leaps, front half to layout full second pass, very unique, double tuck with a big lunge, close to OOB, unsure if she actually went over. 9.800, must’ve kept her heel up.
Dean (LSU): Nice full turn, side aerial to BHS, solid, switch leap to split jump, moving confidently, has been so improved here this season, front aerial to beat jump, side aerial to stuck layout full. 9.925
Sheremeta (Miz): Front handspring front double full, good landing, a little short on her leaps but good height, Rudi to LOSO second pass, and my stream cut out so I missed the end of her routine. My apologies. 9.875
Johnson (LSU): Clean full turn, BHS LOSO, small arm check, switch leap to switch half, huge wobble, bends at the hips but doesn’t touch or fall, front toss, RO double full dismount, sticks it. 9.825….. How?
McCrary (Miz): Front layout to Rudi, great landing, double pike, perfect lunge, switch side to straddle full, a little short. 9.825
Shchennikova (LSU): Doesn’t hold the back dive mount long, BHS LOSO, small wobble, onodi, another check, small bend at the hips, split leap to split jump, hits her positions, front aerial and another wobble, full turn, BHS gainer full dismount, stuck. 9.825
A conference about McCrary’s routine has paused us momentarily.
Schaffer (Miz): Opens with a Rudi to LOSO, a popular pass amongst these Tigers, double tuck, opens early so steps forward with her chest down, switch ring to tour jete half, a bit low. 9.725
Rotation 3: LSU 49.400, Missouri 49.075
After 3: LSU 148.200, Missouri 146.725
While it is LSU on floor in the PMAC on Senior Night in the next rotation, I’m not sure it will be possible for LSU to pull in the 49.800 it needs to hit 198. But, crazier things have happened. Some questionable beam scores have kept LSU still in contention for a quality score. Missouri will be hoping for one of its better beam rotations (like I mentioned in my preview above) to earn a respectable score in the low or maybe even mid 196 range.
Rotation 4: Missouri Beam, LSU Floor
Gottula (Miz): Opens with a gorgeous BHS BHS LOSO triple series, full turn with a tiny check, straddle jump to straddle half, solid, RO to a stuck gainer full. Nice leadoff. 9.875
Desiderio (LSU): Big double layout to mount, RO 1.5 to front layout, bouncy, switch ring to tour jete half, double tuck final pass, big slide back but stays in bounds. 9.850
Schaffer (Miz): Full turn, BHS BHS LOSO, no problems, front aerial, moving easily, switch leap to split jump, dismounts with a stuck RO 1.5. 9.900
Bryant’s beam score from the last rotation was upped to a 9.850 from a 9.800. So add .050 to all my previous numbers for LSU.
Shchennikova (LSU): Great front double full, nice RO 1.5 to front full, easily through her leaps, ends with a Rudi to a wild split jump. 9.875
McCrary (Miz): Beat jump to front toss, brings a leg off the beam in a big wobble but stays on, BHS LOSO, quite a bit of bent knees, full turn, quick and easy, split jump to double stag, gainer pike dismount with a hop forward. 9.775
Ballard (LSU): Giant double layout, well controlled lunge, RO 1.5 to front layout to stag jump, controlled again, switch ring to switch half, could use more amplitude, easy double pike to finish. 9.925
Marshall (Miz): Front toss, solid, front aerial to BHS BHS, smoothly through, split jump to straddle quarter, a bit shaky, RO 1.5 dismount, some funky legs in the air and a step back. 9.900
Edwards (LSU): A bouncy front double full to start, front full to front full, really well controlled landing, nice height in her leap series, RO double tuck to finish with another good landing. 9.900
Sheremeta (Miz): Fun low beam choreography to start, beat jump, BHS LOSO, big check to the side, bends over but stays on split jump to ring jump, a little wobble, front aerial, small foot adjustment, front toss, full turn with her leg out, gainer pike dismount, stuck. 9.750
Bryant (LSU): Gets started with a huge front handspring double front, controlled step, front handspring to front layout to Rudi, great landing, switch half to straddle full, nice height and cleanly around, LOSO choreography, easy front double full to close. 9.950
Schreiber (Miz): Opens with a full turn, BHS LOSO LOSO, beautiful, switch half to split jump to beat jump to stuck gainer full dismount. Love that dismount combination! 9.975!!!!!
Johnson (LSU): Scores are set up for this to be a huge return routine for Johnson. Massive full in to open, a bit of a slide back with the front foot in the lunge, RO 1.5 to front layout, switch half to straddle full, cleanly through, double pike to close, perfectly stuck, no need for a lunge. 10.000!
— LSU Gymnastics (@LSUgym) March 6, 2021
Rotation 4: Missouri 49.425, LSU 49.650
Final: LSU 197.875, Missouri 196.150
Well it wasn’t a 198, but LSU outscored last week’s total by over a point and posted its second highest score of the season. Not a bad final regular season meet. Kiya Johnson was warmly welcomed back to floor with that perfect 10, and Bryant’s first career 10.0 was my highlight of the meet. Missouri was able to post another 196, but a lower one than it would’ve hoped. That final beam rotation was phenomenal to watch, Missouri will just be upset with how the first half of its meet went.
Vault: Bryant 10.000
Bars: Durante, Shchennikova, 9.900
Beam: Schreiber 9.975
Floor: Johnson 10.000
All Around: Bryant, Johnson 39.625
Live blog by Brandis Heffner
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