When senior all-arounder Lexie Priessman scored a perfect 10 last week against Georgia, fellow senior all-arounder McKenna Kelley was in tears next to the uneven bars.
Tonight, as LSU gymnastics defeats Oregon State in a non-conference matchup, the tables were turned as Kelley scored her first career perfect 10 on floor to propel the Tigers to a season high 198.150 on senior night — but this time Priessman was the one in tears for her friend.
get you friends who look at you like Lexie Priessman and McKenna Kelley look at each other. https://t.co/P4Y8jJAFpO— Kennedi Landry (@landryyy14) March 9, 2019
"Right away I just wanted to know what Kennedi [Edney] and McKenna felt like when they got their 10s," Priessman said. "I don't even remember what I felt because it was so surreal.
"The feeling inside was just like 'Oh my gosh.' As soon as they got 10s, I just started bawling because that's a moment you'll never get back. They're going to be on the wall forever at LSU."
The PMAC's 11,015 fans were the loudest they had been all season, as the Tigers worked their way through the floor lineup, with a season-high event score. No gymnast in the lineup scored lower than 9.825 with 10s from junior all-arounder Kennedi Edney and Kelley.
Kelley, who anchored the LSU floor lineup to that season-high 49.675, was standing off to herself after the meet, wiping her her tears for what could be her last regular season meet in the PMAC.
Kelley missed all of her junior season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and has returned as a force to be reckoned with in LSU's floor lineup. Kelley also scored a 9.85 on vault.
"I'm just at a loss for words," Kelley said. "It's not even about a 10. It feels like all of your hard work paid off. Like you did it, you did something for your team that is so rare. It's such a special moment. For me, with my Achilles last year, I wasn't physically apart of it at all. To end in the PMAC on a note like that, you couldn't have written the story better.
"I'm so thankful that me team did their job and every person got up and did exactly what we asked them to do. I don't think the seniors could've asked for better."
LSU coach D-D Breaux admits that she feared that the team would get caught up in the senior night festivities and emotions and forget to have fun while competing.
"I think we saw the best emotions of LSU gymnastics last night," Breaux said.
Both Priessman and Kelley gave credit to their team for making the seniors feel special all week, both in and out of the gym.
Nobody was more proud of Kelley than Priessman and the rest of her teammates.
"It's just a group of girls that I look more to as sisters than friends," Priessman said.
Though a win and a perfect 10 on senior night was as perfect of an ending that anybody could ask for, Kelley and the rest of the senior class were more focused on embracing every little moment in their last regular season meet in the PMAC.
"Just embracing every moment," Kelley said. "I think that for us, as a senior class, we were focused on the little things, the things that we would miss later on. Not the big performances, but I was looking at the mats with the tiger eye and the chalk and the spell and each and every fan that spends their Friday nights here and spent money on season tickets. It's Tiger Nation."