The home team was in sync Friday, on Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic.
But Kentucky Coach Tim Garrison couldn't help but feel a twinge of disappointment over finishing second in a three-team gymnastics meet, held before a Memorial Coliseum crowd of 5,105.
Second-ranked LSU won with 196.60 points. No. 13 UK, with 195.60, topped No. 24 Arizona State's 194.40.
UK tied for the ninth-best score in team history, and improved from 194.975 in Monday's season opener at Washington.
"I'm happy with the peformance," Garrison said. "It never feels good to come in second place. Last (Monday) in Washington we had a few mishaps here and there, and we ended up winning the meet. That felt good.
"Coming here and taking second to the No. 2 team in the country I guess is some consolation, but not much. It still doesn't feel good to not win. But a 195.6 at this point in the season, considering the fact that we're based solely on score for our rankings, I guess we'll take it."
LSU, which scored 197.125 in its opener against Iowa, had topped the 197 mark 14 times in a row until Friday.
After starting with a 48.95 on vault, UK tied for the ninth-best bars score in team history when it posted a 49.15.
That gave the Wildcats the lead through two rotations, 98.10 to LSU's 98.05.
Sydney Waltz, a freshman from Findlay, Ohio, led the way with a 9.875, while fellow frosh Cori Rechenmacher scored a 9.85. Waltz placed second overall on bars, trailing only a 9.90 posted by LSU's Rheagan Courville.
"I actually fell in Washington last (Monday), so for me to come and be able to do as well as I did on bars, it just meant so much and really helped my confidence on the event," Waltz said.
Waltz also led UK in vault with a 9.85, good for an eight-way tie for first place overall.
She took well to the Excite Night atmosphere.
"It was great. We had a ton of fans come out," Waltz said. "This is my first home meet, and I loved it way more than competing away. It has a great vibe in here."
UK senior Shannon Mitchell shared first-place honors with LSU's Jessie Jordan on beam, scoring 9.90. Jordan also took all-around honors with a 39.525.
Mitchell, Tiara Phipps and Taylor Puryear tied for eighth in floor exercise, each with a 9.775. LSU's Lloimincia Hall won with a 9.95.
Garrison was pleased with his freshmen, citing their performance on bars.
"You've got Cori Rechenmacher, who's fifth up in our lineup. She's almost our anchor on bars now. That's pretty good; that's pretty solid for a freshman," he said. "She made a mistake at the Washington meet, came back and hit a solid routine here. Sydney Waltz also made a mistake in the Washington meet, came back and fixed it here.
"Katie Carlisle is No. 2 in our lineup, which is a tough spot to go. She hit her routine again today. That's the second one in a row for her. So just looking at them on bars alone, I've seen a lot of progress already."
Garrison said that gaining experience against the No. 2 team in the nation can only help the Cats.
"It's not to say we're not used to it, because we are in the SEC, and a lot of the top 10 is in the SEC. So we're used to that," he said. "But we do that anyway. We go out and we're facing the defending national-champion Oklahoma Sooners here in a few weeks down at their place. That's just what we do. We like to challenge our kids, and it will pay off. It will pay off."
Waltz says that better things are on the horizon.
"We went up about seven-tenths from just Monday, which is really, really good for us," she said. "But we're still pushing for more. ... It was a good score, but we were not anywhere near to perfect tonight, so we're hoping for a lot higher scores in the future."
Excite night results
Teams — LSU 196.60; Kentucky 195.60; Arizona State 194.40.
Beam — 1. (tie) Shannon Mitchell (UK) and Jessie Jordan (LSU) 9.90; 3. Erin Macadaeg (LSU) 9.85.
Vault — 1. (tie) Sydney Waltz (UK), Tashy Sundby (ASU), Taylor Allex (ASU), Jordan (LSU), Lloimincia Hall (LSU), Myia Hambrick (LSU), Ashleigh Gnat (LSU) and Rheagan Courville (LSU) 9.85.
Bars — 1. Courville (LSU) 9.90; 2. Waltz (UK) 9.875; 3. (tie) Cori Rechenmacher (UK), Allie Salas (ASU) and Jordan (LSU) 9.85.
Floor — 1. Hall (LSU) 9.95; 2. Jordan (LSU) 9.925; 3. Gnat (LSU) 9.875.
All-around — 1. Jordan (LSU) 39.525; 2. Courville (LSU) 39.225; 3. Salas (ASU) 39.05.