Missouri gymnastics tied its second highest team score of the season, but fell to No. 8 LSU on Friday, losing 197.275-194.575.
Nevertheless, coach Rob Drass said the team has improved since its shaky beginning to the season.
“We’ve rebounded really well from the first three meets,” Drass said. “Those meets were difficult, but since then we have been really coming together as a team.”
The Tigers kicked the meet off on Vault, posting a team score of 48.675. Sophomore Laura Kappler started the event with a 9.550. Senior Sandra Ostad and freshman Miranda Eubank followed, posting a 9.650 and 9.750, respectively. Senior Tori Howard stuck her vault, earning a 9.850, and sophomore Rachel Updike finished off the rotation with a 9.875. LSU answered MU with a team score of 49.400.
Missouri then moved on to the Uneven Bars, where, after a shaky warm-up, the team posted a 48.750, its highest event score of the meet. Ostad was the first Tiger to compete, scoring a 9.725. Eubank and junior Mackenzie McGill both performed solid routines, posting a 9.800 and 9.700, respectively. Updike scored a 9.750 and junior Taylor Medrea ended the event with a stuck dismount and a score of 9.775. LSU answered once again with a higher score of 49.100.
On the Balance Beam, both Kappler and junior Cathryn Aliceaacosta stuck their dismounts to score a 9.775 and 9.750, respectively. Freshman Blair Elmore competed for her first time on this event and earned a 9.500. Updike scored a career high 9.900, tying for the event title with LSU’s Rheagan Courville and Jessie Jordarn. Howard finished off the rotation with the team’s third stuck dismount to post a 9.775, giving Mizzou a team score of 48.700. LSU put up a team score of 49.275.
Elmore said that to prepare for her routine, she focused on maintaining confidence in herself.
“I told myself ‘do what you do in practice,’” she said. “I still need to work on getting my nerves under control.”
The Floor Exercise was the last event for the Tigers. The team had to follow LSU, who had scored a total of 49.500, with gymnast Lloimincia Hall scoring a perfect 10.000.
Medrea began the team’s rotation with a 9.775 and Aliceaacosta followed with a 9.800. Ostad and Howard were the next two to compete, scoring a 9.825 and 9.875, respectively. Kappler, who fell on her last tumbling pass in an otherwise solid routine, scored a 9.175
Kappler said the perfect 10.000 by Hall didn’t affect the team’s performance on the Floor.
“That didn’t change anything,” she said. “We just went out and did our part.”
Drass said it took a couple weeks for the team to absorb the injuries that they have suffered this season, but he said the gymnasts are starting to gain confidence in their new roles. He is proud of his team and said they still have a goal of qualifying for the postseason.
“All we can control is what we do, everything else doesn’t matter to us,” Drass said.
The Tigers travel to Lexington to take on No.18 Kentucky on Feb 15.