GymTiders down LSU on road

BATON ROUGE, LA -- The No. 2 ranked Alabama Gymnastics team came into Pete Maravich Assembly Center tonight to face the No. 20 LSU Tigers and break its Baton Rouge losing streak. <br><br>Mission accomplished.

Alabama beat the Tigers 197.600-196.775, season best marks for both schools. It was the first time Alabama has won in Baton Rouge since 1998. The win boosted Alabama's record to 7-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU fell to 2-3 overall, 0-2 in the SEC.

"I applaud the increase in attendance and obviously the Tiger fans came to watch their team, but they also came to see the defending SEC Champions," Patterson said. "We experienced a few difficulties with the crowd, but that comes when you have first time fans. I thought our ladies handled the situation like champions on the balance beam last event."

While it was safe to assume that a majority of the 4,170 spectators announced tonight were pulling for the Tigers, the Alabama fan contingent made their presence felt, led by the families of Tide's three Louisiana natives. Not content to bring the fans, junior Michelle Reeser (Monroe), sophomore Rachael Delahoussaye (Mandeville) and freshman Brittany Comeaux (Addis) all had a hand in the Tide's victory.

"It was great to see sophomore Dana Pierce out on the floor exercise for the first time in her collegiate career and Michelle, Brittany and Rachael certainly gave the ‘Bama Cajun faithful a lot to cheer about," Patterson said. "It's a great road score, it's a great win and that was the goal for tonight."

Alabama won the meet on the balance beam, posting a season best 49.375. Senior Jeana Rice scored a meet best 9.95 to go with Reeser's 9.875. Delahoussaye, junior Shannon Hrozek and sophomore Mari Bayer all scored 9.85 on the balance beam. LSU scored a 49.1 on the beam led by a 9.925 from Lisa Rennie.

Reeser led Alabama off on the balance beam with a 9.875, which tied her season best, followed by a season best 9.85 from Delahoussaye. Comeaux, spurred by family and friends, hit a career best 9.925 on the uneven bars.

Alabama got off to a strong start, posting a season best 49.4 led by a career-best tying 9.975 from Rice, a 9.925 from Comeaux and season best 9.875 from junior Shannon Hrozek. LSU posted a 49.050 on the bars paced by a 9.9 from junior Annie Gagnon.

Shannon Hrozek

The Tide tied its season best on the vault, scoring a 49.375 behind a 9.9 from Rice, a 9.925 from junior Alexis Brion and a 9.95 from Miles. LSU scored a 49.150 on the vault led by a 9.9 from sophomore April Burkholder.

"I think we continued to improve on the uneven bars again and it was our best performance this season on vault," Patterson said.

"Once again we elected to build depth, substituting for Jeana Rice on the floor exercise," Patterson said. "We ran two exhibition events on floor exercise tonight and I think it is safe to say that we are 10 to 12 athletes deep on that event."

Alabama once again rocked the floor exercise, turning in a 49.450. Sophomore Ashley Miles posted a season best 9.975 while Brion and senior Stephanie Kite posted 9.9s. For Miles, it was her 11th score of 9.95 or better in 14 career routines. For Kite, it was her 15th score of 9.85 or better in her last 16 outings. LSU scored a 49.475 on the floor led by a 10.0 from Burkholder.

"We got Ashley Miles' new floor routine out there today, which was exciting," Patterson said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun and I can't wait for the home crowd to see it."

The Tide returns to action next Friday in Coleman Coliseum against No. 3 ranked Florida. The meet starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of the Coliseum, or online at www.rolltide.com.


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