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March 16, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 16 Penn State women's gymnastics team posted a 197.325, the second highest score in program history, to hold off the 19th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on Senior Night by a count of 197.325-196.775. The 196.775 number for Kentucky broke its program record. Penn State topped the 197 mark for the first time this season.
"It was a great night for our team," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "When you start the night with five-straight sticks on an event, you know you are off to a great start and it could be a good night. We had great competition tonight in the University of Kentucky."
Senior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned the all-around title with a final score of 39.650, the second highest all-around score in her career. Senior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) tied her career-high on vault with a stunning 9.95, earning scores of 9.925 or higher on two of the three events she competed in. Both seniors were recognized after the meet in their last home competition.
The Nittany Lions finished strong on the vault, putting up a mark of 49.475, with five scores of 9.875 or higher. Juniors Lindsey Musgrove (League City, Texas) and Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) both recorded season and career highs with a score of 9.875. Freshman Samantha Musto (Mays Landing, N.J.) and Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) matched their career best scores with a 9.875 and 9.950, respectively. Musser tallied a score of 9.900, matching her season-high and sophomore Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.) scored 9.850 on the vault to round out the top five on the vault for Penn State.
Over on the uneven bars, Penn State finished with a score of 49.250. Musser and Merriam led the way for the blue and white both scoring a 9.875. Sanabria-Robles finished with a 9.850, matching her season and career-high on the bars. Junior Kassidy Stauder (Palmerton, Pa.) and Musto each finished with marks of 9.825, while Sophomore Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) checked in at 9.750.
The Lions were strong on the balance beam recording a 49.300 for a season-high. Musser, who received a perfect 10 from one judge, put together an impressive routine to match her career-high with a 9.950. Also matching her career high, Welsh tallied a score of 9.825. Both Carroll and Stauder shined on the beam. Carroll posted a career high mark of 9.850 and Stauder finished with a notable 9.875. Musto earned a 9.800.
On floor exercise, Penn State finished with a 49.300. Musser and Merriam led the way for Nittany Lions on the floor both with a score of 9.925. With that score, Musser matched her season high which she set last week and Merriam matched her career-high on the floor. Carroll finished with a 9.875, while Stauder checked in with a 9.800 to round out the scores above 9.8. Freshman Taylor Alotta (New Tripoli, Pa.) received a 9.775.
The Nittany Lions now turn to the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Michigan State next Saturday. Penn State is a top four seed and will compete in the night session at 6 p.m.
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