|Follow PSU Women's Gymnastics:||Follow @pennstatewgym|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 25 Penn State women’s gymnastics team opened its 2018 season with a 194.275-192.900 victory over the No. 35 Eastern Michigan Eagles Saturday afternoon, Jan. 6, at Rec Hall. Saturday’s meet marked the first competition for the Nittany Lions under the guidance of head coach Sarah Brown.
“Overall, I thought it was a good starting point for us,” Brown said. “It was awesome being here in Rec Hall. We had a great crowd despite the cold and despite the students not being here. I was excited for the team to get in front of this home crowd. I am looking forward to building from here, but overall I am happy where we are right now.”
For Penn State, three Nittany Lions won outright/tied for titles on three events and in the all-around. Senior Briannah Tsang (Vancouver, British Columbia) won the balance beam title outright (9.825), tied for the vault title (9.825) and the all-around title (39.050) with freshman Lauren Bridgens (Darnestown, Md.). Along with Bridgens and Tsang, junior Sabrina Garcia (Etters, Pa.) shared the floor exercise title with Eastern Michigan’s Emili Dobronics (9.800).
The Nittany Lions (1-0) began the day with a 48.875 on the vault. For the Nittany Lions on the opening apparatus, Bridgens and Tsang each tallied a 9.825 to share the event title, while freshman Alissa Bonsall (Higganum, Conn.) recorded a 9.800 to post a third-place finish. For Tsang it was her 13th career vault crown, while Bridgens recorded a share of the event title in her Penn State debut. With the first rotation of the season in the books, Penn State held a 48.875-48.200 lead over Eastern Michigan (0-1).
Following the vault, the Nittany Lions went to the uneven bars and posted a 48.600. The duo of Bonsall and Bridgens tallied another pair of top-three finishes as Bridgens finished second with a 9.800 and Bonsall took third with a 9.775. After the first two first rotations, the Nittany Lions held a 97.475-96.700 lead over the Eagles.
During the third rotation, Penn State posted a 48.375 on the balance beam with Tsang taking the top spot with her score of 9.825. In addition to the first place finish on the balance beam from Tsang, Bridgens placed fourth (9.700), while Bonsall and Garcia tied for fifth (9.625). With one rotation remaining, Penn State led Eastern Michigan, 145.850-145.175.
The Nittany Lions closed out the day with a 48.425 on the floor exercise. On the floor exercise for the Blue & White, Garcia posted a 9.800 to tie for the event crown with Dobronics of EMU, while Bridgens placed fourth (9.725) and Tsang tied for fifth (9.650).
No. 25 Penn State opens Big Ten action on Jan. 13 against the No. 9 Nebraska Cornhuskers. The meet is slated for a 4 p.m. start at Rec Hall.