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March 14, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 14, 2014 - The No. 15 Penn State women's gymnastics program can accomplish a couple of important this weekend at their Big Ten quad meet at No. 8 Michigan w/ Iowa and No. 13 Minnesota. The meet will air live on the BTN at 1:30, with the Nittany Lions having a chance to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season championship and if they can defeat two of their three opponents they will post the first 20-win regular season in school history.
Penn State enters the weekend with an 18-2 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the Big Ten this season. Penn State sits in a three-way tie for second right now in the Big Ten with Minnesota and Nebraska and Michigan sits atop the conference at 4-0.
Their 18 wins are tied second in school history with the 2005 team (18-5) and are behind only the 2007 squad that went 19-4 in the regular season.
The Nittany Lions remain among the top 20 programs in the NCAA in all four events and currently ranks 15th nationally as a team with a Regional Qualifying Score of 196.280. They are tied for 11th on the floor exercise (49.205), sit 14th on the vault (49.160), rank 16th on the balance beam (49.015) and are 18th in the uneven bars (49.040).
The Regional Qualifying Score is based on a team's and an all-around competitor's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away.
Penn State is coming off of an impressive showing at last weekend's quad meet at New Hampshire, scoring 197.200 for the third highest score in school history. The team total was the highest road score ever recorded by a Penn State team , as well.
Freshman Emma Sibson (Allen, Texas) earned her second straight nod as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after setting new career-highs on the vault and floor exercise last weekend. She boasted a 9.975 on the vault to tie for the fifth highest score in school history and win the event title. She tallied a 9.800 on the balance beam and logged a personal-best 9.900 on the floor exercise. She is one of only two Nittany Lions to own a score of 9.900 or better on two events.
The impressive senior season for Kassidy Stauder (Palmerton, Pa.) continued with a career-best showing of 9.950 on the balance beam last weekend at New Hampshire. The anchor of the lineup on the event worked her way to the 10th best score in school history to win the event title for the sixth time. She also tied for the event title on the uneven bars - her seventh event win of the year on the event - with a score of 9.850.
Stauder currently ranks 14th nationally in the all-around with a 39.345 RQS after posting a career-best score of 39.475 last weekend in Durham, N.H. She has topped the 39.400 mark three times this season and won the all-around competition on three occasions. She also ranks 12th in the NCAA on the balance beam with an RQS of 9.890, which sits No. 1 on the Big Ten charts.
Junior Randi Lau (Honolulu, Hawaii) returned after missing a week due to injury and contributed three 9.875 scores to the team total at Hew Hampshire. She posted a season-high effort on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise in the quad meet to help the team score the best road team score in school history.
Penn State will begin the postseason on their home floor, hosting the 2014 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships on March 22 and the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships on April 5 inside historic Rec Hall.
For information on purchasing 2014 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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