|Follow PSU Women's Gymnastics:||Follow @pennstatewgym|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite a season-high team score, the No. 32 Penn State women’s gymnastics team was edged by the No. 33 Illinois Fighting Illini, 195.750-195.475, Saturday afternoon at Rec Hall. Senior Briannah Tsang (Vancouver, British Columbia) won the balance beam, floor exercise and the all-around.
“I thought tonight was a really strong night for us,” head coach Sarah Brown said. “Definitely the most complete meet we have put together so far. We still had some mistakes, but in general I think we are moving in the right direction, and we are learning more and more about our athletes each time they compete. I am really proud of where we are right now.”
The Nittany Lions (1-3, 0-3 Big Ten) opened the meet with a 48.850 on the vault. For Penn State on the vault, LaGuardia captured the top spot for the second-straight week as she set a career-best score of 9.850. Along with LaGuardia, Tsang finished second with a 9.825 and freshman Alissa Bonsall (Higganum, Conn.) tied for fifth-place with a 9.750. With the first rotation in the books, Illinois (4-1, 2-1 Big Ten) led Penn State, 48.900-48.850.
Penn State then went to the uneven bars and posted a 49.050 during the second rotation. On the uneven bars, Bridgens and Garcia each tallied a 9.875 for the event title. For Bridgens she captured her first career uneven bars title and Garcia recorded her fifth career uneven bars title. Bonsall rounded out the top-three with her score of 9.825. After two rotations, Penn State led Illinois, 97.900-97.650.
During the third rotation, Penn State recorded a 48.750 on the balance beam. The Nittany Lions were led on the balance beam with Tsang capturing the title with a season-best 9.900. In addition to Tsang, Bridgens and Kristen Politz (Morganville, N.J.) tied for seventh-place as they each posted a 9.725. With one rotation to go, Penn State led Illinois, 146.650-146.550.
Penn State closed out the afternoon with a 48.825 on the floor exercise. During the final rotation, Tsang won the floor exercise for the second time this season and for the 14th time in her career as she tied a season-best score of 9.900. Along with Tsang, Garcia placed second with a season-best 9.875 and Peyton Schuller (Erie, Pa.) took seventh with a season-best 9.750.
The all-around standings featured Tsang taking the title for the fourth time this season with her score of 39.350.
In all, seven Nittany Lions set or tied season-best scores on the day. Along with the season-best scores, three Penn Staters set or tied career-best scores.
No. 32 Penn State now heads to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on Michigan State on Sunday, Feb. 4. The meet is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the Jenison Field House.