Gymnastics Look For First Win in Happy Valley
Kent, Ohio --
The Kent State Gymnastics team (0-1) will try not to dwell on their closest loss in a dual meet since the 2001 season when they visit Penn State (1-1) to take on the Nittany Lions as well as the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0) and the Towson Tigers (1-0). The meet will take place at 7:00 p.m at Rec Hall. A live video stream of the meet can be found here http://www.gopsusports.com/allaccess/?media=362029 .
Kent State last competed at Iowa State where they were defeated by the slim margin of 193.625-193.575. Strong performers for the Golden Flashes included Junior Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) who finished second in two events, the balance beam and floor excercise. Joining Case with impressive finishes were Senior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) and Sophomore Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) who tallied first place finishes in the Uneven Bars and Vault respectively. Each earned a 9.825 from the judges to seal the win. The loss was the closest for the Kent State program since they were defeated by Central Michigan with a final score of 195.950-195.900 on February 16, 2001.
Scouting Penn State:
The Nittany Lions are coming off of a win over the University of Illinois-Chicago. Penn State defeated the Flames by a score of 194.150-191.700. Look for Freshman Samantha Musto to make some noise as she followed up being awarded the Big Ten Freshman of the Week by earning the title of All-Around Champion against UIC with a score of 39.025. Kent State could take advantage of the Nittany Lions' Floor Excercise routines, where they suffered a fall en route to posting their lowest event score of the evening, a 47.650.
Penn State All-Time Series:
Kent State is looking for their first win ever over the Nittany Lions in a series dating back to 1984. The Golden Flashes are currently 0-18 against Penn State with their last meeting occuring last season at the NCAA Regionals where Penn State finished fourth, earning a win over the sixth place Flashes.
Towson is coming off their first meet of the season, a 192.025-188.750 victory over William and Mary. The young team was led by Freshman Katie Sassa as she finished first on the floor excercise 99.675), second on the vault (9.725), and second on the beam (9.800).
Towson All-Time Series:
Kent State holds the edge all-time over the Tigers at a 4-2 mark. The two squads last met February 24, 2012 where the Golden Flashes came away with the victory over Towson 194.450-193.925 despite finishing in second place overall at the meet hosted by N.C. State.
The 11th ranked Golden Gophers toppled 17th ranked Washington in their season opening meet last Saturday, earning a decisive 195.550-193.500 victory. The win over the Huskies propelled Minnesota in the rankings, as they jumped 12 positions from 23 to 11. Their score of 195.550 was the highest opening meet score in the program's history. Among their many weapons is Junior Kayla Slechta, who earned a career best score of 9.950 to win the vault while also tieing for first in the floor excercise with a 9.875 mark.
Minnesota All-Time Series:
The Golden Flashes look to even the series with Minnesota when they face-off Saturday night, as the all-time record currently stands at 1-2. The two squads last met in April of 2011 when Kent State defeated the Gophers and four other teams in the NCAA Regionals to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history.
Coach Biggin and Nicolle Eastman:
Kent State will begin their 2013 home schedule by hosting conference mate Western Michigan and George Washington on Friday, January 25. The meet begins at 7:00 p.m and will take place at the M.A.C Center.