Gymnastics Scores Season-high 194.25 points in loss to No. 13 Penn State

 

Erin Machado

DURHAM, N.H.Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) secured second place in floor exercise with a personal-best-matching 9.85 and the University of New Hampshire gymnastics team registered a season-high 194.25 points, but 13th-ranked Penn State totaled 196.125 points to pull out the victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.

UNH's record evens at 1-1 on the season, while the Nittany Lions improve to 3-0.

The Wildcats began the meet on vault, where Jillian Hudson (Sparkill, N.Y.) stuck her dismount for a career-high 9.8, tied for third place with Courtney Connors (Buffalo, N.Y.), but Penn State's Sharaya Musser notched an incredible 9.95 to ignite the Lions' 49.1-48.825 team edge on the apparatus.

Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.) turned in a brilliant uneven bar routine to earn a three-way tie for first place with a 9.8, matched by Penn State's Musser and Madison Merriam. Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) scored a 9.775 for fourth place, but Penn State edged New Hampshire on bars, 48.825-48.55.

The Nittany Lions swept the top three spots on balance beam with Musser (9.9), Daryl Konsevick (9.85) and Whitney Bencsko (9.825) claiming the high scores, though UNH's Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.) shined with a team-leading, personal-best 9.775 for fifth place. PSU won the event, 49.075-48.125.

Machado's floor routine, which earned her the meet's Katie Baldwin Expression Award, was bested only by Merriam's 9.875. Bencsko, Konsevick and Penn State's Krystal Welsh recorded matching 9.825 scores to share third-place honors, and the visiting team posted a 49.125-48.75 event win.

Musser collected the all-around championship with a 39.425.

"We keep improving every week, and it was exciting to be tied with Penn State after the first two events, but we couldn't quite keep up with them," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. "We keep making little mistakes, so now it's time to pay attention to detail."

The Wildcats will play host to Pittsburgh for an EAGL conference meet Saturday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. at Lundholm Gymnasium. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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