UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's gymnastics team will return to Rec Hall this weekend as it hosts the Michigan State Spartans as part of a double dual with the men's squad. The No. 1-ranked men's team will take on Springfield College. Action is set to begin at 7 p.m.
"We are super excited to be back home in Rec Hall with a double dual with our men's team," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We are happy to be back and excited to back in front of our home fans. We've had great crowds so far this season, and we hope the weather doesn't keep people away. We are looking forward to another 3,000 showing up this weekend to cheer on the Blue and White."
Penn State was led by senior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.), who earned Big Ten Co-Event Specialist of the Week, last weekend in a near record-breaking meet for the Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions set their best score of 196.700 since the 2011 season. Additionally, Penn State's mark last Saturday at Michigan is the second-best finish in a road meet in program history.
Merriam posted a career high on the vault (9.950) en route to the event title in Penn State's meet against No. 3 Michigan last weekend. Additionally, the senior tied for third in the floor exercise (9.900) and placed seventh on the bars (9.825). For her efforts, Merriam earned her first ever Big Ten weekly award of her stellar career.
The Nittany Lions crushed their previous season-high score of 195.575, set against Ohio State back on Feb. 2. Additionally, Penn State posted season-best scores on vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Senior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished second in the all-around, posting a season-high mark of 39.525. Sophomore Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.) also participated in the all-around, posting a score of 38.350.
Michigan State ranks 45th nationally with a team average of 193.317. The Spartans have their highest team score on vault, 48.717. Additionally, MSU is 58th on uneven bars (47.763), 33rd on the balance beam (48.317) and 44th on floor exercise (48.521).Leading the Spartans on vault is sophomore Alina Cartwright, averaging a score of 9.813.
The two squads last faced each other in 2012 in a quad meet. Penn State outscored the Spartans, 196.100-192.875.