Lions Cap Successful Season at No. 12 in National Polls
May 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 5, 2014 - Penn State closed out the season with their 17th appearance at the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. The Nittany Lions secured a team score of 194.825 to finish as the No. 12 team in the nation at season's end.
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Senior Kassidy Stauder walked away with a trio of awards, including the Barber-Rowland MVP Award and Kelly Streicher Heart of a Lion Award, and was honored by having her name added to a pair of awards. The Kassidy Stauder Four-Year Achievement Award will be handed out starting in 2015 to someone who displays consistency and a desire to help the program in any way needed.
After hitting on every one of her 45 career balance beam routines, Stauder was named the recipient of the Beltz-Rohrbaugh Balance Beam Award for the third time in her career and will have her named added to that award in 2015.
Fellow senior Lindsay Musgrove earned the Bernie Robertson Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight season. The bio-behavioral health major currently owns a 3.98 GPA and was named Penn State’s recipient of the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.
Junior Alex Witt and freshman Nicole Medvitz were named co-recipients of the Hoyt-Streicher Perseverance Award after each of them dealt with injury during the 2014 season.
Barber-Rowland MVP: Kassidy Stauder
Solid Showing at NCAA Summit
The Lions tied for their highest NCAA Championships score on the floor exercise (49.175), equaling the 2000 team’s effort from the second semifinal in Boise, Idaho. Their 48.925 on the vault ranks second behind only the 2009 squads score from the first semifinal in Lincoln, Neb.
The 48.650 on the uneven bars is fifth in the school’s NCAA Championship record books. The 1998 squad owns the school’s best showing on the event at 49.125 in the second semifinal in Los Angeles.
The balance beam performance also ranks among the top-10 in school history. Their 48.075 sits eighth among Penn State’s 17 NCAA Championship scores. The current scoring system has been used since the 1991 NCAA Championship event, meaning 12 of the Nittany Lions competitions have come under the current system.
Schedule Step-Up for Lions
Regular season opponent Kentucky was among the top-25 and Iowa State, which PSU opened their season against, sat just outside the top-25. Overall, 19 teams that PSU competed against in 2014 were among the top-25.
Throughout the season, Penn State found ranked opponents around nearly ever corner. After their season opener at No. 26 Iowa State they faced No. 21 Kentucky in a quad meet in Lexington. They then faced three straight ranked teams at the start of their Big Ten slate. The Blue and White traveled to No. 21 Ohio State before hosting No. 8 Nebraska and No. 11 Illinois in back-to-back weeks.
The Big Ten Quad meet at Michigan featured the No. 8 Wolverines and No. 13 Minnesota. The Big Ten Championships featured six total ranked teams, including Penn State, while the NCAA University Park Regional was comprised of four ranked squads counting the Nittany Lions.
At the NCAA Championships, Penn State had No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Utah, No. 8 UCLA and No. 9 Nebraska in the Lions session of the championships.
Full Circle for Seniors
Musgrove and Stauder both moved into the rotation immediately and opened their careers against No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The duo headed back to the Yellowhammer State to cap off their careers with the programs 17th appearance in the NCAA Championships.
It was an incredible year for the pair, as Stauder earned All-America accolades on the balance beam and was a first team All-Big Ten performer. Musgrove made touches on the vault and floor exercise in all 14 meets this season.
They closed out their home careers at Rec Hall with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Regional and made the most of their opportunity under the bright lights in Alabama, where it all started.
Stauder led the team on the uneven bars (9.750), while Musgrove was a top the team charts on the floor exercise (9.850).
Six Nittany Lions Earn Academic All-B1G
Overall, Thompson has seen 13 student-athletes earn academic All-Big Ten honors on 22 occasions during his four seasons on campus.
The 2014 honorees include:
Lions Post Top NCAA Postseason Score at NCAA Regional
Of the NCAA postseason team scores, nine of the top-10 have been accomplished at the NCAA Regional, with the only NCAA Championship score coming in 2009, the team’s last trip to the NCAA summit.
Three of the top 10 NCAA postseason scores have come under the watch of head coach Jeff Thompson. His 2013 squad scored 195.875 at the NCAA Regional and the 2011 squad totaled 196.850 in his first NCAA Regional with the Blue and White.
Trio Earn All-Big Ten Honors
Stauder has enjoyed her finest season in the blue and white. She set new personal best scores on all four apparatus and in the all-around, winning three all-around titles and 13 individual event titles during the regular season.
Sanabria-Robles also had a great 2014 campaign. The junior competed in all 14 meets and made a touch during all 56 routines and posted career-best scores in all four events and in the all-around.
Rounding out the honorees for the Nittany Lions was Welsh, who returned from injury to bolster the Nittany Lions all-around rotation in 2014. The junior competed in the all-around in all 14 meets to make touches on in all 56 routines for the Blue and White this season.
Nittany Lions Among Top-10 in NCAA Championships Appearances
Utah has advanced to all 33 of the women’s gymnastics championship events, while Alabama and Florida have competed at 32 of the 33 meets.
Here is the complete top-10 list;
The First Team to Twenty
With two victories at the Big Ten Quad in Ann Arbor, Mich., the team moved past the 2007 squad for the most regular season victories in school history. The 2007 team finished the year with a 19-4 overall mark and finished third at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Top 5 Single Season Victories
Thompson Joins Elite Company
Thompson’s first appearance at the NCAA Championships came with Auburn in 2003 and he has now led the Nittany Lions back to the national summit for the first time since the program went in 2009. He became just the third head coach in NCAA history to navigate two different programs to the NCAA Championships, joining K.J. Kindler (Iowa State & Oklahoma) and Judi Markell (Penn State and Florida).
Thompson took Auburn to the championships during his fourth season at the helm of the program. The Tigers finished 12th at the 2003 NCAA Championships, posting a team score of 193.525. The Highland Heights, Ky., native guided Penn State to their 17th appearance at the NCAA Championships in his fourth year, as well. The Blue and White finished 12th with a team score of 194.825.