LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux got on the podium Friday night saying she felt like basketball coach Will Wade.
Wade is famous for finding nitpicky things to things to correct in postgame, even when his team wins — Breaux did the same following LSU's 197.150-195.375 over NC State.
"You win, but it wasn't great," Breaux said. "At this point in the season, we knew we were going to start a little bit slower than usual. The score is a pretty decent score, but it's the momentum that we lost. We hit good beam routines and had mental breaks throughout. You can't do that and we have got to be better than that. We've got to be tougher emotionally."
The Tigers got off to an explosive start on vault and uneven bars, scoring a total 49.325 and 49.500 respectively. They held a 98.825-97.475 lead over the Wolfpack at the halfway mark.
"I felt like we got some momentum on vaulting," Breaux said. "Sarah [Finnegan] opened with a beautiful vault. Ruby [Harrold's] vault was extremely good — very high, very stretched out. McKenna [Kelley] really blasted out a big vault for us. We need that in the middle of the lineup.
"Bars was fabulous," Breaux said. "I couldn't have asked them to do any better. They really rallied. I think as good of bars as this team has done all year long."
That momentum did not carry over into the second half of the meet.
LSU struggled with wobbles and balance throughout the beam rotation, with only one gymnast — senior Sarah Finnegan — scoring over a 9.825 with a 9.95.
The total beam score was 49.100, below LSU's season average. Breaux expects to bump up the pressure situations in practice in the coming weeks to prepare for the real in-meet experience.
"When we went to beam, it was one little glitch after another," Breaux said. "The end of the lineup really saved the score to at least break that 49.000 and stay in the hunt for a 197 overall."
The floor rotation did not look much better.
Junior all-arounder Ruby Harrold began the rotation with a 9.025 after faltering on two of her three tumbling passes. Sophomore all-arounder Christina Desiderio rebounded well with a 9.825.
The rest of the rotation was between the 9.750 (junior Kennedi Edney) to 9.875 (Finnegan) range until senior all-arounder McKenna Kelley capped off the meet with a 9.975 while anchoring.
"The fact that we did what we did tonight and went 197 and a little bit gives us reason to feel good about it, but it also gives us another check mark and we've got to get in the gym and get better."