Gymnastics Defeats LSU In Home Opener
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Petrina Yokay won the all-around competition.
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Petrina Yokay won the all-around competition.
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 14, 2011

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AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn gymnastics team got their first win of the season against No. 25 LSU Friday night at Auburn Arena. In front of a crowd of 4,190 Auburn (1-1, 1-0 SEC) defeated LSU (0-2, 0-1 SEC) 194.775 - 194.475 to get its first SEC win of the season.

"We came into tonight with two missions," head coach Jeff Graba said. "We wanted to make this our home, and we wanted to be better than we were last week. We were obviously better than we were last week. We feel this is the team that we really are. Last week we just weren't ready to go. The crowd showed up tonight, this is our home now. We are so excited that such a big crowd showed up, and we are hoping more people come and witness what we can do."

With the score tied at 48.600 after the opening rotation, Auburn led off with a solid rotation on vault as Justine Foster closed out the event with a 9.775. Petrina Yokay and Lauren Brzostowski each scored 9.750, a season-high for Brzostowski. Sophomore Toi Garcia followed close behind with a season-high 9.725, and Allyson Sandusky tied her season-high with her second 9.600 on the year.

"What I liked is that we didn't let the mistakes get to us," Graba said. "We were able to adjust and come back and still do a good job after mistakes, and that's a lot of pressure and we need to be good at that in order to be successful in the long run."

Auburn followed its strong vault performance with another good showing on the uneven bars with a team score of 48.650. Kylie Shields posted a 9.775 to lead the Tigers, while Kendall Swartz and Sandusky both scored season-highs of 9.750. Yokay hit her routine with a season-high 9.725, and Kareen Kaveh rounded out the group with a career-high 9.650. After two rotations, LSU led Auburn by just .350 with a score of 97.600-97.250.

"This meet was about proving that we are still a contender after everything we've gone through in the past couple of months," senior Rachel Inniss said. "We are still Auburn, and this was just us making a statement to make sure people are watching out for us."

With an outstanding performance on beam, Auburn was able to take the lead going into the final rotation with a score of 146.100-145.950. Sandusky tied her career high with a 9.875, and Brzostowski set a season-high 9.800. Inniss landed a 9.750, while freshman Abbey Habicht scored a 9.725. Yokay rounded out the group with a career-high 9.700. Auburn posted a 48.850 on beam.

"It was so fun to watch tonight," Graba said. "This is what gymnastics can do. It can be exciting for everybody."

With a .150 lead going into the final rotation, Auburn posted a 48.675 on floor to seal the win. Inniss hit her routine and rounded out the event with a 9.900.

"Our main focus this week was competing against ourselves and competing against what we did last week," Inniss said. "Beating LSU was just a plus."

Foster also tied her career high with a 9.775, while Laura Lane scored a 9.750. Brzostowski finished with a 9.675 and Yokay posted a 9.575, good enough for her to place first in the all-around. All five floor scores were season-highs for the Tigers.

"Nothing helps build confidence like a good meet," Graba said. "This win definitely helps build confidence going into next week."

The Tigers return to action next Friday in Athens, Ga. as they take on SEC rival Georgia.