BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux clinched her 600th career victory as the eighth-ranked Tigers set a school record team score in a season opener with a 196.075-194.975 win against No. 22 North Carolina State on Friday in the Maravich Center.
The 196.075 team score beat the previous school record for a season opener, a 195.725 in the 2008 Cancun Classic.
In front of a crowd of 3,504, the Tigers dazzled the fans with a 49.525 on floor to pull away from the Wolfpack in the final rotation. The 49.525 is tied for the eighth-highest floor score in school history as the Tigers also scored it April 2, 2002 at the NCAA Central Regional.
Led by a career-high 9.975 on floor, Rheagan Courville captured her fifth career all-around title with a 39.500, equaling her personal best. Courville also won the beam title with a 9.875 to go along with her floor and all-around titles.
Sarie Morrison finished a perfect 2-for-2, winning the vault and bars titles with a 9.90 and 9.825, respectively, in the two events she competed.
“It was such an exciting [meet] in front of a great crowd,” Breaux said. “We opened the [meet] with some mistakes, but we kept pushing. It didn’t rattle us, and we finished the meet competing like a championship team.”
LSU (1-0) began the meet with a 49.275 on vault, the highest opening-meet score in the event since the 2007 opener when the Tigers recorded a 49.400. Kaleigh Dickson led off with a 9.825, and LSU counted 9.85′s from Jessica Savona, Maliah Mathis and Courville as well as Morrison’s 9.90.
LSU struggled to maintain the momentum in the second rotation, counting a fall on bars to finish with a 48.250. Morrison led the way with a 9.825, followed by a 9.80 by Courville, 9.775 by freshman Randii Wyrick, 9.725 by Lloimincia Hall and 9.125 by Jessie Jordan.
After two rotations LSU led NC State 97.525-97.375, and the Tigers recorded a 49.025 on beam to hold the advantage against the Wolfpack. Ericka Garcia led off the event with a 9.725 followed by a 9.75 from Dickson. Savona and Hall earned back-to-back 9.80′s, while Courville scored a 9.875 and Jordan anchored with a 9.80.
With the team clinging to a 146.550-146.350 lead entering the final rotation, the Tigers exploded for a 49.525, including three scores above a 9.90. Courville was nearly perfect with a 9.975, Hall got the crowd on its feet with a 9.95 and Savona scored a 9.925 in her first floor routine as a Tiger. Mathis added a solid 9.85, and Dickson opened the event with a 9.825 to get LSU started.
NC State (0-1) was led by junior Diahanna Ham who scored a 9.875 to finish second on vault, a 9.85 on floor and a 39.100 for a third-place all-around finish.
LSU returns to the Maravich Center next Friday to open Southeastern Conference competition against third-ranked Florida, which was a 196.575-190.550 winner against Ball State on Friday.