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PROVO, Utah - Freshman Lauren Bridgens (Darnestown, Md.) tallied a perfect 10 on the uneven bars during the final rotation to help the No. 28 Penn State women's gymnastics team (10-5, 1-4 Big Ten) record a quad meet victory over No. 21 BYU (10-5, 4-1 MRGC), Texas Woman's University (7-10, 5-0 MIC), and Utah State (7-9, 1-3 MRGC) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"What an incredible night," head coach Sarah Brown said. "I'm so proud of the beam team and how they set the tone for the night with each routine, we kept fighting and it paid off. It was a great atmosphere and a fun competition.
"Lauren has been working so hard on every event and tonight was amazing for her on bars. I couldn't be more proud of her!"
"Tonight was a really fun night for the entire team," Bridgens said. "It was an unbelievable feeling to experience getting a 10 with this team and I could not be more proud of the job we did tonight! Coming off a great meet for us, we still know we still have more in us moving forward into Big Fives."
With three rotations complete, No. 21 BYU led the team standings with a 147.325, followed by Penn State (147.200), Utah State (146.675), and Texas Woman's University (146.000). During the final rotation, Penn State went to its best event of the year, the uneven bars, while BYU went to floor, Utah State took to vault, and Texas Woman's University headed to balance beam.
On the uneven bars, the Nittany Lions came out flying with sophomore Tess McCracken (Plano, Texas) tallying a career-best 9.825 to lead things off. Freshman Ava Verdeflor (Allen, Texas) went second and tied a career-best 9.850, then sophomore Kristen Politz (Morganville, N.J.) posted a career-best 9.925 in the third spot.
Bridgens then took to the uneven bars in the fourth spot. After she landed her routine, she high-fived her teammates, coaches, and then moments later a pair of 10.0's were shown.
With her feat on Friday, Bridgens recorded the 10th perfect 10 in program history and she also became the first Nittany Lion to record a perfect 10 on the uneven bars. Bridgens is the first Nittany Lion since Brandi Personett to tally a perfect 10 (2/13/2010).
Junior Sabrina Garcia (Etters, Pa.) continued the momentum for the Nittany Lions as she tallied a 9.875 in the fifth spot. Senior Briannah Tsang (Vancouver, British Columbia) anchored the lineup with a 9.275, but it wouldn't impact the team score as Penn State already recorded a 49.475 - its second-best uneven bars score in school history.
In the uneven bars standings, Bridgens won her sixth bars title of the year, Politz finished third, Garcia placed sixth, Verdeflor tied for seventh, and McCracken tied for 10th.
While Penn State posted a 49.475 on the uneven bars, BYU recorded a 49.175 on the floor exercise, which secured the victory for the Nittany Lions.
In the team standings, Penn State finished first with a 196.675, followed by BYU (196.500), Utah State took third (195.725), and Texas Woman's University finished fourth (194.925). With its score of 196.675 on Friday night, Penn State secured its third-straight meet with a season-best score.
The Nittany Lions began the meet with a season-best tally of 49.200 on the balance beam.
Competing on the balance beam for just the second time this season, Verdeflor started the beam lineup with a career-best 9.800 to tie for 11th. After Verdeflor, Bridgens tied for seventh with a 9.825. In the fourth spot, McCracken posted a career-best 9.800 to tie for 11th. The Nittany Lions closed out beam with Tsang tying a season-best 9.900 to place second and junior Mason Hosek (Pearland, Texas) recording a 9.875 to tie for third.
The Blue & White then went to the floor exercise in the second rotation where it posted a 49.050.
For the Nittany Lions on the floor exercise, Tsang paced with way as she tied for the event title with a 9.925, while Garcia tied for sixth with a 9.825 and junior Peyton Schuller (Erie, Pa.) posted a top-10 finish as she tied for ninth with a 9.800.
During the third rotation, Penn State went to vault and tallied a 48.950. In the vault standings for PSU, Tsang posted a 9.875 to win her sixth vault title of the season, while junior Gianna LaGuardia (Thornton, Colo.) tied for sixth with a 9.800.
In the all-around standings, Bridgens posted a score of 39.375 to win her third all-around title of the season.
No. 28 Penn State now heads to Piscataway, New Jersey, for the Big Five Meet on March 17. In the Piscataway Big Five section, Penn State will compete against No. 29 Iowa, No. 7 Michigan, No. 22 Minnesota, and Rutgers. The meet is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start at the Rutgers Athletic Center.