Jan. 21, 2012
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
The No. 5 Alabama gymnastics team edged No. 9 Penn State 196.175-196.100 to take first place in Saturday’s four-way meet in Rec Hall. Michigan State was third with a 192.875 while Cornell was fourth with a 188.850.
“I have to congratulate Penn State,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. “I thought they had a great performance tonight and were rock solid on the balance beam.”
With the Crimson Tide leading by just a tenth of a point going into the last rotation of the night, the meet came down to the final competitor for each team.
“While we didn’t count any falls tonight, we had some miscues and gave away a few tenths here and there,” Patterson said. “I really think our team has to learn from this. We are going to face teams that maybe we’re a little bit more talented than, but if we’re not at our best, we’ll have another situation like tonight where it came down to the last routine.”
Alabama went to the uneven bars, the event that gave it trouble in its opening meet, for its last event while Penn State went to the floor. The Tide went six-for-six on the uneven bars Saturday, a week after it had two falls on the bars in its opening meet. Alabama posted a 49.075 led by sophomore Sarah DeMeo and senior Ashley Priess, who scored matching 9.85s.
“We weren’t as good as we can be tonight and if we think for a second that kind of performance is going to keep us on top next week in Auburn, I don’t think it will,” Patterson said. “We have to be better, we have to dig deeper and we have to be more team oriented.”
Alabama started off the night with a 48.725 on the balance beam, the only time this regular season that it will start off on that event, led by sophomore Diandra Milliner’s 9.85. The Tide followed up with a 48.950 on the floor exercise with freshman Lora Leigh Frost posting a team-best 9.85.
The Tide came alive on the vault, scoring a 49.425 with juniors Ashley Sledge and Marissa Gutierrez scoring 9.925 and 9.9 respectively to take first and second in the event.
Alabama remains on the road for its next meet, though closer to home, when it travels to Auburn, Ala. to take on the Auburn Tigers on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. The Tide’s next home meet is Friday, Feb. 3 against the Florida Gators. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) or online at RollTide.com.