The Alabama gymnastics team did not look like the nation’s third-ranked squad Friday night in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, an inconsistent performance came against fourth-ranked LSU, which was on its game.
As is usually the case when Alabama gymnasts go into a meet as the visitor, the Crimson Tide draws a crowd. On Friday it was an LSU record in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and most of those 13,296 had quite the enjoyable time as the Tigers scored 197.925 to Bama’s 196.225.
Friday’s meet closed the Crimson Tide’s regular season. After taking next weekend off from competition, Alabama opens the postseason with the SEC Championships on March 19.
“Are we disappointed in this performance? Absolutely,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth asked and answered. “It was so out of character for this team. We’ve been so consistent all season long. This was just very atypical of this team. It was one of those nights.”
Alabama struggled for the first time this season on the uneven bars and for the second time in 2016 on the balance beam, which overshadowed a strong middle of the meet for the Crimson Tide.
Two breaks on the uneven bars resulted in a 48.825 team score, led by 9.825s from junior Keely McNeer, freshman Ariana Guerra, and sophomore Mackenzie Brannan.
On the vault, Alabama used a 9.875 from senior Lauren Beers and 9.85s from sophomore Nickie Guerrero, Brannan and junior Katie Bailey to go 49.225. It was the Tide’s second highest road vault total of the season. Alabama then posted a 49.400, its season highest road score on the floor exercise, behind 9.9s from Bailey and Brannan and 9.875s from Guerra and Beers. Brannan’s 9.9 was her season high while Bailey tied her season-best mark on the floor exercise.
The Tide also had two breaks on the balance beam, but rebounded with 9.9s from junior Aja Sims and Guerrero as well as a 9.85 from McNeer. It was the fifth 9.9 or better beam score this season for both Sims and Guerrero.