It was a high-stakes, highly-anticipated SEC matchup on a winter Friday night, with an electric sold-out home crowd packed inside Auburn Arena, waiting to see the battle of the Tigers as number four LSU came to town. In this conference matchup and rivalry, it was the less storied and underdog Tigers of Auburn who got the upset win and signature moment, putting a brilliant meet together to defeat LSU 196.700-196.275.
Starting in the opening rotation, Auburn made a statement with its strong and powerful vaulting, seeing a 9.900 from freshman Derrian Gobourne and a 9.850 from Drew Watson. However, the solid start from Auburn wasn’t enough for them to lead after rotation one, as LSU soared on the uneven bars with three straight 9.925s to close their bars lineup from Kennedi Edney, Lexie Priessman, and Sarah Finnegan.
Rotation two saw the push from Auburn really began, after a monster bars rotation- featuring no score lower than a 9.875 for a big total of 49.500- put the Tigers ahead after two rotations thanks to 9.900s from Drew Watson, Taylor Krippner, and Samantha Cerio as well as senior star Abby Milliet‘s 9.925. LSU relinquished their lead after a solid vault rotation, which featured much improvement after two falls last week to open the season. The high score for the visiting Tigers was a 9.875 from Edney, however no scores above that 9.900 mark on vault troubled LSU later in the meet.
Balance beam was actually a bit of a struggle for Auburn, where Abby Milliet continued her excellent night to go 9.900 on her signature event. Allowing LSU back into the meet a bit, the road-team Tigers took advantage, with Sarah Finnegan scoring a 9.900 and Reagan Campbell a 9.850 on their routines.
Despite ups and downs over the course of the meet, it was the fourth and final rotation on the floor exercise that gave Auburn one last major push towards the major upset, where Abby Milliet’s 9.900 and Derrian Gobourne’s 9.950 helped give Auburn one final push into first place. Working this time to secure their first home win over LSU in seven years, the road Tigers helped give Auburn the confidence to finish off the win after both of LSU’s best beam performers Campbell and Finnegan only went 9.825 after a fall from Christina Desiderio.Tags: Abby Milliet, Auburn, Auburn Tigers, Christina Desiderio, Derrian Gobourne, Drew Watson, Kennedi Edney, Lexie Priessman, LSU, LSU Tigers, NCAA Gymnastics, Reagan Campbell, Samantha Cerio, Sarah Finnegan, Taylor Krippner