Gymnastics: WVU Takes Second at PSU

  • By Shannon McNamara
  • |
  • February 06, 2011 04:18 PM
  • |
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The West Virginia gymnastics team scored 194.05 and finished second at No. 21 Penn State’s quad-meet this afternoon at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions (5-4, 0-2 Big Ten) finished first with 195.55 points, while Pitt (3-5, 0-4 EAGL) placed third with a 193.475 score. Bridgeport (5-6) scored 192.25 and finished in fourth place.

Today’s victory over the Panthers is WVU’s second in two weeks, as the team defeated Pitt, 194.075-189.025, in Morgantown on Jan. 29.

The Mountaineers (6-3, 3-1 EAGL) won vault (49.375) and floor (48.55), placed second on bars (48.65) and finished fourth on beam (47.475).

Senior Amy Bieski finished sixth overall with a 38.2 all-around score. The mark pushes the Nanticoke, Pa., native’s career point total to 1,706.4 and moves her into 10th place on the WVU all-time career points list.

PSU’s Madison Merriam finished first overall with a score of 38.875.

The Mountaineers fell behind the Nittany Lions early, as their No. 16-ranked floor lineup earned 48.55 points. PSU opened with a 49.025 vault showing, while Pitt earned 48.425 on bars and UB tallied 47.875 on beam.

Sophomore Chelsea Goldschrafe competed one of her best floor routines of the season and finished first overall with a 9.775 showing. Junior Tina Maloney finished second on the team, fourth overall, with a 9.725, while sophomore Kaylyn Millick and freshman Hope Sloanhoffer each tallied 9.7s.

The Mountaineers began their comeback charge immediately, scoring a season-best 49.375 on vault and pushing their team total to 97.925. WVU’s vault score was just 0.15 points short of the school record. Despite its impressive rotation, WVU continued to trail PSU, as the Nittany Lions pushed their team total to 98.25 with a 49.225 bars total. Pitt scored 48.125 on beam (96.55), while UB earned 48.375 on floor (96.25).

Three gymnasts scored 9.9 or better, and four hit career-best marks, in WVU’s strong second rotation. Sloanhoffer, the EAGL’s top vaulter, won the event with a career-best 9.95 score. The Cornwall, N.Y., native is only the fifth gymnast since 2005 to earn the score. Maloney and sophomore Alaska Richardson finished tied for second overall with career-best 9.9 scores, while Bieski finished seventh with a season-best 9.825 score. Additionally, Goldschrafe vaulted to a career-best 9.8 score and finished in ninth place.

WVU scored 48.65 on bars in the third rotation but did not improve its standing, as its 146.575 team score continued to rank second. PSU tallied 48.85 on beam and increased its lead to 147.1, while UB earned 48.025 on vault (144.275) and Pitt scored 48.1 on floor (144.65).

Senior Emily Kerwin continued to pace the Mountaineers on bars, as she scored 9.8, her fourth 9.8 or better mark of the season, and finished sixth overall. Millick and senior Alysha Pretzello finished second on the team with matching 9.725 scores; the mark is a season-best for Pretzello.

The Mountaineers closed out the afternoon with a 47.475 on beam. PSU finished with a 48.45 on floor, while Pitt tallied 48.825 on vault and UB earned 47.975 on bars.

Millick finished third overall on beam with a team-best 9.775 score. Sloanhoffer finished fifth with a 9.75, while Bieski placed third on the team and scored 9.575.

Today’s loss drops WVU series record with PSU to 34-6. The Mountaineers increased their all-time records over Pitt (51-12-2) and Bridgeport (4-0).

Today’s meeting is the first of two this season between the Mountaineers and the Nittany Lions. WVU plays host to PSU at the WVU Coliseum on March 12, at 7 p.m., in its season finale.

The Mountaineers stay on the road and travel to No. 16 Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 12, for a 4 p.m. meet at St. John Arena, in Columbus, Ohio.