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Jan. 25, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's gymnastics team will host its second of three consecutive home meets on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions will host Big Ten foe Iowa, along with Pittsburgh and Rutgers.
Last Saturday, Penn State posted a 194.300 overall score to earn a third-place finish in its home opener in Rec Hall. Senior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was Penn state's top scorer, posting a final of 38.775.
Minnesota won the meet with a team score of 195.525, while Kent State finished second at 195.450. Rounding out the teams competing was Towson, who finished with a 192.175 Joining Musser in the all-around was junior Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico), who originally was scheduled to compete in three events but replaced senior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.). Robles posted an all-around score of 38.650, topping her season best that was set last weekend. Freshmen Samantha Musto (Mays Landing, N.J.) was Penn State's final all-around competitor, finishing with a 36.425.
"I think most team's goal is to score an average of 49 on each event," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We got off to a great start on vault and even a better start on bars. We additionally had the best beam we had all year. After three events, we were poised as we were at a 147. We were 49 from hitting 196. If we hit that 196 score, we are at our mark. Unfortunately, Sammie had her injury and that is something hard to get over. Any time you score a 47 on an event, your team score is not going to be where you want it to be."
The Hawkeyes enter Saturday's meet after improving their team score by nearly a point from the first meet last Saturday. However, that was not enough to overcome the Ohio State Buckeyes, as Iowa fell in the Big Ten season opener 194.925-194.200. Penn State holds a 15-1 record all-time against the Hawkeyes, as the Nittany Lions downed Iowa by a count of 195.8-195.15 last season.
The 22nd-ranked Panthers of Pittsburgh posted its sixth-highest mark in school history, and its highest score since 2004 when they recorded a 195.675 in a quad meet with Maryland, Temple and Cornell last Saturday. Pitt's season-opener score against West Virginia (193.550) was its highest score in a season-opener in school history. Penn State is a dominant 44-2 all-time against the Panthers.
Rutgers will be making its first trip up to Happy Valley for the first time since 2009. The Scarlet Knights put up a score of 192.925 last Saturday to finish second in their quad meet. Penn State has never lost to Rutgers, boasting a record of 16-0. Following this Saturday's meet, Penn State returns to Rec Hall next Saturday at 7 p.m. for a double dual meet with the men's squad against Ohio State. It will also be Penn State's "Paint it Pink" meet. All fans are encouraged to purchase a "Paint it Pink" t-shirt on the west concourse of Rec Hall. Fans that wear their t-shirt will get free admittance into the meet on Feb. 2.
The Penn State women's gymnastics team is on Twitter. Follow @PennStateWGYM for the inside scoop. You can also find updates on the Nittany Lion gymnasts at GoPSUsports.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pennstatewomensgymnastics.