No. 22 Gym'Backs fall to LSU

Jump to agate FAYETTEVILLE – The 22nd-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team had to count a couple falls in a losing effort against No. 11 LSU in the Southeastern Conference home opener in Barnhill Arena Friday. Arkansas was excited to be home and posted a 193.100 but the Tigers managed a 194.675 outdoing the Gym’Backs. The Gym’Backs had to count falls on bars and beam and that slowed the team’s progress. “We counted fewer falls tonight and I guess that’s a step in the right direction,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “We still need to be more consistent – that’s been our goal all season.” Arkansas opened the meet on the vault posting a solid 48.70 as a team paced by junior Cassie Drew’s 9.80. Drew added a second-place finish on the beam with a 9.750. All-arounder Dana McQuillin was again steady for Arkansas scoring a 38.575 to finish second overall. Senior Katie Hardman made her return to the lineup on beam with a 9.750 tying for Arkansas’ highest score on the apparatus Friday. Hardman had been out of the lineup with an injury. “We’re capable of performing much better,” continued Cook, “and we know that. That gives us something to shoot for as we continue this year.” The Gym’Backs posted their second highest bars score of the season with a 48.075 despite two falls on the event. Senior all-conference athlete Melissa Leigh paced Arkansas with 9.750. Hardman anchored the beam for the Gym’Backs but again two falls hurt the home team. The Gym’Backs finished strong on the floor with 48.375 as the scores climbed with each routine. A 9.70 from Drew followed by the 9.60 from McQuillin teamed with a 9.775 from Rachel Barnett and a 9.80 from Emily Peacock. “That was definitely something to build on,” said Cook. “The energy was there and it was a good finish.” Arkansas continues with its second home meet Friday, Feb. 3, when the Gym’Backs host Penn State in Barnhill. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics or for tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.