By Jacob Most
Jan. 31, 2013 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 16th-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics team will face a top-10 Southeastern Conference opponent for the third consecutive week when the Wildcats take on No. 6 LSU at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum on Friday.
The Wildcats (4-2, 2-1 SEC) will look to build off a strong home opener two weeks ago when they topped 195 for the third straight competition in front of the biggest home crowd in four seasons. Friday’s meet marks the first leg of a three-week home stand for the Wildcats.
Kentucky dropped its first SEC meet of the season at two-time defending national champion Alabama last Friday. The Wildcats notched a total of four individual career highs in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kentucky’s best team score of the night came on balance beam where sophomore Shannon Mitchell led UK with a career best 9.85. Juniors Kayla Sienkowski and Alexis Gross each tied a personal record with a 9.825.
Junior Audrey Harrison has led UK this season with a 39.019 all-around average and a 9.80 clip on floor. Sophomore Kenzie Hedges is first on the team with a 9.831 vault average. Junior Kayla Hartley is tops on bars (9.806) and freshman Marissa Beucler has a team-leading beam average of 9.788 though two career routines.
Kentucky ranks in the top 25 on each team event as the Wildcats checked in at No. 15 on floor exercise, No. 18 on uneven bars, No. 19 on beam and No. 25 on vault in the latest GymInfo rankings.
The Wildcats have won two of the last three regular-season meets against the Tigers, including a 195.575-192.95 win the last time the teams faced off in Memorial Coliseum. LSU (5-2, 1-1 SEC) leads the all-time series 66-5.
LSU notched its season high score last weekend with a 197.1 at the Metroplex Challenge in Dallas, Texas. Rheagan Courville and Sarie Morrison have led the way for the Tigers in event titles as Courville has six this season and Morrison is just behind her with five though four meets.
Live video coverage as well as live scoring will be available on UKAthletics.com.
Friday’s meet rings in the month of February with Schedule Magnet Night as the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free UK Gymnastics schedule magnet. All of the Wildcats will be signing autographs after the meet. Young Wildcats fans can show their team pride by getting their faces painted at the UK marketing gazebo before the meet.
For ticket information, contact the UK Ticket Office at (859) 257-1818.
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