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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 31 Penn State women's gymnastics team tallied its third-straight meet with a season-best score, but fell to the No. 26 Ohio State Buckeyes, 196.200-196.025, Friday evening inside St. John Arena. Penn State's score of 196.025 is its first score of 196.000-or-higher under first-year head coach Sarah Brown.
"Tonight was so much fun," Brown said. "The environment was so great and the energy in the arena was great preparation for post season. We started strong on vault and we didn't let up. I thought our floor routines were stronger and cleaner then they have been and I couldn't be more proud of the beam team! We've been working hard to put together a complete meet and tonight felt like the best we've competed so far."
With three rotations in the books, the Nittany Lions (2-4, 1-4 Big Ten) trailed the Buckeyes (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten), 147.000-146.975. Despite the Nittany Lions capping off the meet with a season-high 49.050 on the balance beam, Ohio State captured the victory after posting a 49.200 on the floor exercise.
On the balance beam for the Nittany Lions, Sabrina Garcia (Etters, Pa.) anchored the lineup with a career-best 9.925 for her first balance beam title of the season. In addition to Garcia, Briannah Tsang (Vancouver, British Columbia) finished second, as she tied a season-best 9.900, and Mason Hosek (Pearland, Texas) tied for third with a 9.800.
The Nittany Lions began the meet with a 49.025 on the uneven bars. For the Blue & White on the uneven bars, Alissa Bonsall (Higganum, Conn.), Lauren Bridgens (Darnestown, Md.), and Tsang led the charge as they all posted a 9.850 to tie for second. After the first rotation, Penn State trailed Ohio State, 49.050-49.025.
Penn State then moved to the vault during the second rotation where it posted a 48.875. On the vault, Gianna LaGuardia (Thornton, Colo.) recorded a career-best 9.875 en route to her third vault title of the season. The duo of Bonsall and Bridgens rounded out the top-five in the vault standings as they each recorded a 9.800. After two rotations, Ohio State led Penn State, 98.225-97.900.
In the third rotation, Penn State tallied its second-highest score of the season on the floor exercise (49.075). For the Nittany Lions on the floor exercise, Garcia and Tsang paced the way as they both posted a 9.875 to tie for first with two Buckeyes. Along with Garcia and Tsang, Peyton Schuller (Erie, Pa.) tied for seventh with a season-best 9.800. After three rotations, Ohio State led Penn State, 147.000-146.975.
In the all-around standings, Tsang won her sixth-straight title (39.325) followed by Bridgens finishing second with a career-best 39.175.
No. 31 Penn State returns home to Happy Valley to host Cornell and Penn in a tri-meet format. The meet is slated for a 4 p.m. start at Rec Hall on Feb. 17.