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March 15, 2014
2nd of 4
No. 13 Minnesota, No. 8 Michigan & Iowa
Ann Arbor, Mich. Crisler Center Attendance: 2,286
No. 15 Penn State
(20-3, 5-2 B1G)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 15, 2014 -Heading into their Big Ten quad meet at Michigan, the No. 15 Penn State women's gymnastics squad knew they would have to upset someone to earn a spot in the evening session of next weekend's Big Ten Championship. A steady performance from the Nittany Lions helped them finish second in the meet behind No. 13 Minnesota and in front of No. 8 Michigan and Iowa with a team score of 196.475 to accomplish that goal.
Penn State topped the team scores after one rotation, posting the second highest score of the season at 49.225 on the balance beam. They fell to second after a 49.125 effort on the floor exercise and held on to that second place standing with a 49.025 on the vault and a 49.100 on the uneven bars.
The second place showing guaranteed the Blue and White a spot in the evening session of the 2014 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships and secured the first 20-win regular season in program history. Penn State is now 20-3 on the season and finished the Big Ten slate with a 5-2 overall mark.
The Nittany Lions tied for third in the regular season with Michigan, who also finished 5-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota and Nebraska each finished the conference slate with 6-1 records to tie for the regular season title.
"It was a very exciting meet and we are very proud of the way the girls competed," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We came out and stuck all six of our balance beam routines and sat in first place after the first rotation. We did what we needed to do on the floor exercise, but didn't really stick anything on the vault and we entered the last rotation just behind Minnesota.
"We knew Michigan had counted a couple of falls on beam, so we knew we needed to hit all of our uneven bar routines [to finish second in the meet]. We did well on the uneven bars, but Minnesota was able to pull away a little bit and we were just shy of winning our first Big Ten regular season championship. However, we accomplished two of our goals today: earning a spot in the evening session of the Big Ten Championships and posting the first 20-win season in school history."
Senior Kassidy Stauder (Palmerton, Pa.) boasted a pair of 9.900 scores to tie for second on both the uneven bars and balance beam. She added a 9.725 on the vault and a 9.750 on the floor exercise to finished tied for third in the all-around with a 39.275 score.
A pair of top-five finishes helped junior Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) equal Stauder's effort in the all-around at 39.275 and tie her second best all-around score of the season. She notched a 9.875 to tie for fifth on the uneven bars and scored 9.825 on the vault to finish in a four-way tie for fifth. Her 9.850 was good enough for a sixth place finish on the floor exercise and she also scored 9.725 on the balance beam.
On the floor exercise, senior Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) tied for sixth with a 9.850 and freshman Emma Sibson (Allen, Texas) finished her regular season with a 9.825 on the vault to finish tied for fifth on the event.
Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) earned a fifth place showing in the all-around competition with a total score of 39.225. She finished sixth on the balance beam at 9.875 and scored 9.800 on the vault. She also posted scores of 9.775 on the uneven bars and floor exercise.
Penn State will begin the postseason on their home floor, hosting the 2014 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships on March 22. The Nittany Lions will join Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska in the 5 p.m. session of the championships, while Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will all compete at Noon inside Rec Hall. Both sessions will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
The Nittany Lions will then host the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships on April 5 inside historic Rec Hall, looking to earn a trip to the 2014 NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
For information on purchasing 2014 season tickets or Big Ten and NCAA Regional Championship tickets fans can visit http://www.gopsusports.com/tickets/w-gym-tickets.html or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
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