Men's gymnastics hosts Illinois in double dual

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After moving up to No. 7 in the GymInfo National Coaches poll, the Penn State men's gymnastics team will look to stretch its winning streak to five consecutive team titles this weekend. Paired up with the Nittany Lion women's gymnastics team, the Nittany Lions will square off against Big Ten foe Illinois in a double dual set for Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in Rec Hall. The matchup marks the first conference meet for the Nittany Lions this season.

The Fighting Illini enter the contest ranked fifth in the latest GymInfo poll, while also coming off a 433.350-420.300 victory on the road at Iowa. In the last meeting between the two squads, Penn State claimed a 438,900-436.250 win to remain unbeaten in 2013. Overall, PSU holds a 53-30 advantage in the all-time series against the Illini.

Last weekend, Penn State captured its fourth consecutive team title, downing then-No. 15 Temple by a score of 431.550-401.600. The Nittany Lions bested the Owls in all six events, taking home several individual titles. Sophomore Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) secured a trio of top finishes on the rings, high bar and parallel bars, while sophomore Alexis Torres (Catano, Puerto Rico) captured a first-place finish in the floor exercise, with a career-high score of 15.300. Juniors Tristan Duverglas (West Orange, N.J.) and Craig Hernandez (Libertyville, Ill.) each claimed two more individual titles in the floor exercise and on the vault, respectively.

Penn State enters this weekend's competition with six gymnasts ranked within the top 20 in various events. Howard is leading the group ranked in the top 20 on four different apparatuses. He's currently ranked fourth on the rings (15.617), 14th on the high bar and tied for 18th on the vault. After swinging to a season-high score of 15.150 on the parallel bars last weekend, he moved up to 12th nationally in the event.

Following an impressive showing against the Owls, Torres heads into the week ranked within the top 10 in two different events. After posting a career-high score of 15.300 in the floor exercise last weekend, Torres improved to seventh nationally on the floor. His career-high mark of 15.400 on the rings last weekend also secured a tied-for-tenth position for the sophomore.

Duverglas and junior Matt Felleman are each ranked within the top-5 in one event. Following a top finish last weekend on the vault with a season-high score of 15.500, Duverglas is slated third nationally on the apparatus. Despite sitting out of competition last weekend, Felleman remains fifth nationally on the high bar (14.976).

As a team, Penn State is ranked within the top 10 nationally in six events. The Nittany Lions are positioned highest on the rings, at third with an average team score of 74.367, which is just .516 shy of matching national leader, Michigan. The Nittany Lions are top-6 in two more events, sitting at sixth overall on the pommel horse (70.900) and fifth on the parallel bars (71.950).

Both season and single meet tickets are available for purchase. Season ticket packages costs $12 for adults and $8 for youth, while single meet tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth. Single meet tickets are available for purchase in advance at the Bryce Jordan Center and at the Rec Hall ticket window on the day of the meet.

Group tickets can be purchased in advance for a reduced rate of $4 per ticket. Fans can catch all the action from Rec Hall with live scoring updates, which will be available on www.GoPSUSports.com.

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Last Updated February 14, 2014