Women's Gymnastics Meet Notes
Nittany Lions Look To Continue Success at OSU: Penn State has rebounded from a season-opening sixth-place finish at the Super Six Challenge to win back-to-back dual meets nd is looking to keep building on that momentum this weekend when they travel to Ohio State. The Lions have faced the Buckeyes more often than any opponent in their history and hold a 28-14 advantage in the all-time series. The Lions defeated the Buckeyes 194.800-192.425 last season.
Scouting Ohio State: The Buckeyes posted the sixth-best team score (195.575) in the program's history and the best in the last two years en route to winning the All-Ohio Championships this past weekend. Ohio State out-performed Kent State and Bowling Green in the event. Previous meets this season for Ohio State included a win over Ball State and a season-opening loss at Minnesota.
ABUNDANCE OF NATIONALLY RANKED FOES: Penn State will be facing its third-straight nationally ranked opponent in a dual meet when it travels to Ohio State this Saturday to face the No. 7 Buckeyes. The Lions schedule this season features nine teams that are currently ranked among the top-25 nationally.
LAST TIME OUT: Penn State defeated New Hampshire 194.075-192.150 for its second-consecutive dual meet win last Saturday. The Lions overcame a shaky performance on the beam, which featured a total of four falls, to notch their second-highest overall team score of the season at 194.075 in the win. Maria Taylor led the Lions with first-place performances in the bars and beam.
LIONS TIE SCHOOL RECORD: Penn State's total team score of 49.350 on the bars versus New Hampshire tied for the best overall score on the apparatus in team history. The Lions also posted a 49.350 vs. Alabama during the 1999 campaign. Maria Taylor paced the Lions on the bars against New Hampshire with a career-best score of 9.925.
BEAMING BRILLIANCE: The Nittany Lions overall team score of 49.350 on the beam marked the highest total by any team in the nation this season according to the latest GymInfo rankings released January 22. Freshman Richelle Simpson posted the Lions' top individual score on the apparatus this season when she tallied a 9.925 at Illinois. Her total is tied for the third-best nationally thus far this season.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Head coach Steve Shephard begins his ninth year at the helm. He has led the Nittany Lions to a 105-58 record and five All-Americans garnering nine honors in eight years.
Under Shephard, the Nittany Lions have appeared in six NCAA Championships won five NCAA Northeast Regional Championships.
Shephard is assisted by Jessica Bastardi and Wayne Boyd.
A DUO OF LEADERSHIP: The Lions' two returning seniors - Gemma Cuff and Maria Taylor - were elected the captains of the 20001 team. Head coach Steve Shephard is looking for the duo show the freshmen lead the team in competition and during workouts.
Cuff is the Lions' lone returning All-American after placing seventh overall in the floor.
Penn State in the Polls
IN THE RANKINGS: In addition to being ranked 16th in the country, the Lions are ranked among the top 20 in three of the four events (entering regional competition). Below is the breakdown:
UP NEXT: The Nittany Lions will return to action on Saturday, February 3 when they host intra-state rival Pittsburgh at 7:00 p.m. in Rec Hall.