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Women's Gymnastics Takes Down Ohio State in Double Dual

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By Sallie Sharer, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sporting its pink leotards in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, the Nittany Lion women's gymnastics team posted season high score of 195.575 in its double dual against Ohio State on Saturday night in Rec Hall.

8538147.jpegFor the Lions, survival was the theme of the entire meet, and they were proud to wear pink for the night.

"Women's gymnastics is a fashion show," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "They love the pink leotards, but they know what it means. We talked about what survivor meant tonight, and how hard those people fight every day. So we needed to come out and fight just as hard for them. Tonight was special."

Freshman Samantha Musto was healthy enough to compete in both the balance beam and the uneven bars. She posted a 9.700 and 9.600, respectively.

Thompson gave Musto the opportunity to prove that she earned the spot during the practice prior to the meet. She had to hit all of her routines on bar, right in that moment.

"It would only be fair if I hit every single routine," Musto said. "Hopefully to simulate how it would be in competition, and so I just tried to block it out and do what I had to do."

She did, and with clearance, Musto made lineup.

"She went up there and nailed it," Thompson said. "She did not only what we thought she could, but she proved to her teammates that she earned that spot. So it was good for everybody."

Senior co-captain, Sharaya Musser, the only Lion to compete in the all-around, dominated the all-around competition, winning the event with a score of 39.400.

Despite Ohio State's gymnasts earning the first place in every event but the balance beam, the Lions' depth afforded them the big win at home in Rec Hall.

Both junior Lindsay Musgrove and senior co-captain Madison Merriam posted season high scores on floor exercise with scores of 9.825 and 9.850 respectively, further improving the Lions performances on that event.

Musser won the unbalance beam event with a score of 9.925, matching her score from the week before against Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Iowa where she posted her season high for the event.

"I think that sometimes they try harder when it's a dual meet," Thompson said. "They're smart enough to know everyone is watching them. When they are 3,000 people in the stands, and some want you to make it, some want you to fall. I think they handled it pretty well."

The Lions will head to Nebraska next weekend to take on the Huskers.

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