Jan. 25, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State gymnastics hosted Penn State on Saturday afternoon at Jenison Field House, and the visiting Nittany Lions took a 194.825-192.750 victory over the Spartans. MSU falls to 0-3 on the season, while Penn State improves to 7-0 on the year.
Penn State senior Kassidy Strauder won both the bars and beam, while junior Alina Cartwright (vault) and freshman Elena Lagoski (floor) were the two individual event winners for MSU. Cartwright, who posted career highs on both the vault and floor exercise, also took the All-Around with a score of 39.325, her career best.
"I thought we battled back to have a pretty good performance on the floor, but we're disappointed in our performances on the day, on the whole," said head coach Kathie Klages. "However, we had an absolutely outstanding performance from Alina Cartwright - she set a personal best in the All-Around, which is very exciting for her. Come Monday, we'll get back to the drawing board and work on improving our performances."
PSU posted a 49.000 on the vault, compared to a 47.850 for MSU; the Spartans got season-best efforts from both Cartwright and Levy in the event, however, in their first rotation of the day. Cartwright took first overall in the event with a 9.950, which was her season-best and tied her personal record, which she set on March 16, 2013 against Denver; that mark is tied for third place in MSU's annals. For Levy, her 9.775 was her top score of the season on the apparatus, bettering the 9.750 she posted in the opener against Illinois, and placed her sixth on the day. Lindsay Musgrove, Krystal Welsh, and Sidney Sanabria-Robles all finished tied for second for PSU, with a 9.825, and teammate Randi Lau took fifth with a 9.800.
On bars, the Nittany Lions took five of the top seven spots and posted a 48.800, while MSU had a 48.100. Stauder won the event with a top score of 9.825, while MSU sophomore Lisa Burt tied for second with a 9.775, along with Sanabria-Robles and Welsh from PSU. Cartwright tied for fifth with a 9.750 for the Spartans.
Cartwright was MSU's top finisher on the beam, earning a 9.750 to take third place. Strauder won the beam for the Nittany Lions, with a 9.875, followed by Sanabria-Robles with a 9.800. MSU competitors took sixth through tenth, en route to a team score of 47.800, while the Nittany Lions posted a team score of 48.200.
MSU's best event of the day came on the floor, where four of MSUs five scorers hit season or career-best scores. MSU scored a 49.000 on the floor, besting the Nittany Lions (48.825). MSU freshman Lagoski tied her career-best of 9.9 to take first place, tying her effort earlier in the month against Illinois. Cartwright finished second with a career-best score of 9.875, which allowed MSU to take the top-two places in the event. Levy was tied for fourth with her 9.800, followed by Brittany Holmes' season-best 9.750 (seventh), and Holly Ryan's 9.675 was her career high, where she finished 10th. Welsh was PSU's top finisher on the day, taking third (9.825).
Cartwright's career day on the vault and floor, as well as pacing the Spartans on the beam, allowed her to post an all-around score of 39.325, bettering her previous career high set in the season opener against Illinois on Jan. 10. PSU had three athletes take the second (Sanabria-Robles), third (Randi Lau), and fourth (Welsh) in the All-Around standings.
"Alina worked so very hard this summer, and it's wonderful to see her rewarded for that hard work that she has continued to put in," noted Klages. "She's been our best, most consistent performer this year, and we're looking forward to seeing what she can accomplish going forward. Today was so wonderful to watch."
MSU will be back in action next Friday when it travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan. The meet begins at 7 p.m.