No. 18 Penn State Women's Gymnastics to Host No. 3 Nebraska
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Feb. 28, 2003 - The 18th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team hosts third-ranked Nebraska this weekend at Rec Hall. The meet, which is on Saturday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m., is the second meeting between the schools this season, as the Huskers outscored Penn State 196.700 to 194.375 at the Super Six Challenge on Jan. 11.
Penn State is coming off its first Big Ten win of the season, as it defeated Ohio State last weekend 195.875 to 195.325. The Nittany Lions are now 8-5 for the year, 1-0 in Big Ten action and have won eight of their last nine contests.
Senior Katie Rowland (Georgetown, Ontario) led Penn State against the Buckeyes last weekend, claiming second in the all-around (39.075) in addition to capturing the individual vault (9.875), beam (9.875) and floor (9.925) titles. Rowland has placed in the top two in the all-around in six of Penn State's seven meets this season, including four first place finishes.
Senior Katie McAvoy (Winnipeg, Manitoba) has been another consistent performer for the Lions, finishing in the top five in the all-around in six of seven meets. Last weekend against Ohio State she placed second on the floor with a season-high mark of 9.850 while finishing third on the vault with a 9.825.
Several Nittany Lions set career and season marks against the Buckeyes. Senior Leslie Bair (Lancaster, Pa.) posted a season-high 9.775 on the floor while senior Nikki Bongiovanni (Meriden, Conn.) recorded a season-best mark of 9.825 on the bars. Senior Dana Cuomo (Robbinsville, N.J.) tallied a career-high 9.850 on the bars with freshman Michelle Ilg (Colonia, N.J.) posting a career-high 9.825 on the floor. Freshman Jennifer Orlando (Herndon, Va.) and sophomore Kate Stopper (Reinholds, Pa.) both recorded career-highs on the beam, posting a 9.750 and a 9.800, respectively.
Junior Kelly Streicher (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was awarded the Ann Carr Award, given to the gymnast who records the most inspiring routine of the evening. As the first performer on bars, Streicher posted a season-best 9.825 to set the high standard. Penn State ended up recording a season-high 49.100 in the event.
The Nittany Lions are ranked 18th in this week's GymInfo Women's National Ranking, also ranking second behind Michigan in the Northeast Regional rankings. As a team, Penn State ranks 12th in the nation on the vault with a regional qualifying score of 48.990 and 16th in the country on the bars with an RQS of 48.815. The Lions also rank 24th on the beam (48.465) and 24th on the floor (48.910). Individually, Rowland is 21st in the all-around while ranking seventh on the vault and 10th on the floor.
Nebraska (12-1, 3-0 Big 12) is coming off its best weekend in program history as the Huskers recorded a team score of 198.025 en route to defeating Kent State, LSU and Washington. Nebraska becomes just the third team this season to break the 198 barrier, joining UCLA and Arizona. Junior Richelle Simpson, recently named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week, broke the school all-around mark last weekend by recording a 39.800. Senior Julie Houk and junior Tami Harris both secured scores of 9.950 on the uneven bars to share first-place honors in the event while Simpson took home the vault and beam titles, scoring a 9.975 on both. Simpson and senior A.J. Lamb both recorded scores of 9.950 to share the floor title.
Visit Penn State's official athletics website, www.GoPSUsports.com for more information on the Nittany Lion women's gymnastics team.