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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 7, 2014 - The No. 23 Penn State women's gymnastics team will face its stiffest test of the season on Saturday (Feb. 8) when they welcome No. 8 Nebraska to Rec Hall for a 4 p.m. competition. The meet is a double dual, with the men's squad hosting Temple.
Last weekend, the Nittany Lions earned a victory over Ohio State with a season best score of 196.150. The victory over the Buckeyes moved them 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. A pair of road victories opened up their Big Ten slate and now the Blue and White open the home portion of their conference competition.
As a team, Penn State currently ranks among the top -25 in team scoring average, along with being among the nation's best on the uneven bars and floor exercise. Penn State is currently 23rd with a team scoring average of 194.980, including season-best performances in two of their last three meets.
On the uneven bars, Penn State ranks 22nd nationally with an average of 48.805 on the event. Their scoring average of 49.131 on the floor exercise has them sitting 12th in the nation entering the weekend, but in their last home competition, the Nittany Lions wowed the crowd with a season-best score of 49.400, which ranks ninth in school history.
Behind four 39.000-plus all-around scored, including a career-best 39.275 from junior Sidney Sanabria-Robles, the Nittany Lions were able to distance themselves from the Buckeyes after Ohio State had taken an early lead after one rotation. Randi Lau, Kassidy Stauder and Krystal Welsh all scored 39.000 or better in the all-around to lead the charge for Penn State.
Sanabria-Robles placed second in the all-around competition at Ohio State with her career-best effort. She scored 9.800 or better on each of the four apparatus and set a new personal-best on the balance beam with a mark of 9.850. She scored 9.800 on the vault, 9.825 on the uneven bars and 9.800 on the floor exercise.
Another solid outing from Stauder kept the senior among the top-25 in country in the all-around with a season average of 39.150. Against the Buckeyes, she scored 39.250 in the all-around, while tying for the event title on the uneven bars and balance beam. The senior has won or shared the top spot on the uneven bars and balance beam in each of the last three meets.
Welsh also netted a career-best showing in the all-around in Columbus with a 39.250 score and tied for the event crown on the uneven bars. She also owns the team's top scoring average on the floor exercise at 9.810, including a team-best score of 9.925, which topped the event vs. Cornell, Southeast Missouri and UIC.
Also among the team leaders on the vault, Welsh is one of three gymnasts with an average of 9.700 or better on the event. Lau leads the team with a 9.785 average on the vault, while freshman Emma Sibson is averaging 9.700 on the event, as well.
Nebraska is coming off of a season-best score of 196.975 in their victory over Minnesota at home last weekend and currently rank among the top 10 in the nation on three of the four events. The Huskers rank sixth nationally on the balance beam (49.081), eighth in team scoring average (196.575) and on the vault (49.256) and are tied for ninth on the floor exercise (49.188). On the uneven bars, Nebraska sits 11th in the NCAA at 49.050.
Penn State will remain at home next weekend when they host their final double dual of the season against Illinoi on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. The men's team will also compete against the Illini, with all four programs currently ranked among the top 25 teams in the country.
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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