Missouri gymnastics falls to No. 1 LSU

Friday, February 28, 2014 | 9:55 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — In the den of the No. 1 team in the country in a meet with important postseason implications, Missouri gymnastics posted its third highest score of the season in a losing effort at LSU.

The final score of 198.050-194.825 was the third-largest deficit of the season for Missouri, despite its third-highest team score of the season. Missouri had posted scores above 195 the previous two consecutive weekends.

Missouri competed without Rachel Updike, the team's best all-around gymnast, who suffered an injury in a fall while warming up on the uneven bars.

Updike is expected back in the coming week and was kept out of the competition as a precaution.

In lieu of Updike, five freshmen — Anna Bowers, Alyson Heimsath, Angie Kern, Lark Pokladnik and Sasha Sander — competed in 10 of Missouri's 24 individual events. Kern led the Tigers on the floor with a team-high score of 9.775.

Laura Kappler, a junior, was the only Missouri gymnast to compete in all four events. Her all-around score of 38.550 was her second-highest mark of the season. Kappler also finished with team highs on the vault and balance beam.

LSU's score tied the third highest recorded by a team in any meet this season. Jessie Jordan, a junior for LSU, took the all-around title with a score of 49.600.

Missouri's next meet is March 7 at Auburn, which is currently ranked No. 11 in the country. The meet will give Missouri another valuable opportunity to record a high away score — the team's three highest away scores are calculated as part of the team's Regional Qualifying Score, which will determine whether or not Missouri qualifies for the Regional Championships at the end of the regular season.

Supervising editor is Sean Morrison.

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