COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 19 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team concludes its three-week road tour at 2 p.m. Sunday in a tri-meet with host No. 17 Penn State and No. 11 Alabama. This will be the Buckeyes’ (4-5, 1-3 Big Ten) third-consecutive week with a road trip and fifth of the season. The squad holds a 2-2 road record.
The Big Ten Network will show a delayed airing of the tri-meet at noon March 8. Fans can follow the Buckeyes through live scoring available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“Competing at Penn State is always an exciting experience,” Ohio State head coach, Carey Fagan, said. “Being at Rec Hall brings back a lot of great memories for me, as an athlete and a coach. It is a great place to compete and we are looking forward to the challenge of facing two great teams. I am very happy with the team’s progress this week. I am confident that the work we are putting in this week and all the weeks leading up to this weekend will show in our performances on Sunday. This late in the season, we are concentrating on the details, the toe point, the landings and minimizing the deductions in each of our routines. We plan to make a few line-up changes that will hopefully boost a few of our event scores. Our goal is always to hit 24 routines. The challenge this weekend will not just be hitting 24 routines, but hitting them with all the details we have been training this week. Essentially, every meet from here until the Big Ten Championships, we will use as preparation for competing for a championship.”
IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State holds a regional qualifying average of 194.725 to rank No. 19 in the nation. The Buckeyes rank fourth as a team in the central region. In the nation, Ohio State is tied for No. 16 on beam with a 48.670 regional qualifying score. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 17 in the country on bars with a 48.750 RQS. On floor, they are tied for No. 19 in the nation with a regional qualifying score of 48.800. The squad is ranked fourth in the central region on floor, beam and bars. On vault, Ohio State ranks eighth in the region with a 48.620 regional qualifying average.
OSU IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes rank fifth in the Big Ten Conference. They hold a 1-3 Big Ten record after a conference win over Iowa and two league losses to Michigan State and Illinois Jan. 31, all three coming at home. Ohio State fell to Illinois on the road to post its third conference loss of the season. On beam, the Buckeyes hold their highest event conference ranking at third. They rank fourth among conference teams on floor and bars. The squad ranks sixth on vault in the Big Ten.
THE BEST THERE IS
Sophomore Rebecca Best is the only Buckeye gymnast to compete in the all-around in each meet this season. She holds a 38.895 regional qualifying score in the all-around to rank sixth in the region, No. 10 in the Big Ten and holds the No. 41 spot in the nation. Best ranks second for Ohio State on vault and bars. She has led Ohio State on vault in three meets this year and holds a 9.750 RQS to rank No. 17 in the conference. On bars, Best has a regional qualifying score of 9.755. With a 9.740 RQS, Best is third for Ohio State on beam. She ranks No. 15 in the conference and No. 17 in the region on beam. Best holds a 9.695 regional qualifying average on floor.
Buckeye freshmen lead the Buckeyes on three events and rank among the Top 3 in each. Taylor Jones leads the way for Ohio State on vault and floor. She holds a 9.815 regional qualifying average on floor to rank eighth in the central region. In the Big Ten, Jones is tied for seventh after scoring above a 9.80 in five meets this season. With a 9.770 RQS, Jones is tied for No. 14 in the Big Ten and No. 20 in the region. She has led Ohio State in the event in four meets this season.
Nicole Krauter ranks first for Ohio State on beam with a 9.775 regional qualifying average. She has led Ohio State in four meets this season, including at Bowling Green last week where she posted a season-best and first-place mark of 9.850. She ranks ninth in the Big Ten and No. 12 in the region in the event.
Casey Williamson holds a 9.780 regional qualifying score on floor to rank second for Ohio State. In the Big Ten, Williamson ranks No. 11. She ranks No. 13 in the central region. Williamson has posted a season-best 9.825 twice, including last week at Bowling Green.
BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Senior Alyssa Meyer leads Ohio State on bars with a 9.795 regional qualifying score. Her RQS ranks ninth in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 14 in the region. Meyer has led Ohio State on bars in four meets this season and placed first in the event twice. On floor, Meyer is third for Ohio State with a 9.750 RQS. She has posted a season-best 9.800 last week at Bowling Green.
Senior Kiki Holman has a 9.770 regional qualifying score on beam to lead the way for Ohio State. She ranks No. 10 in the conference and No. 13 in the central region on beam. Holman has one first-place finish on beam this season and has led the Buckeyes in the event in four meets this season. She has posted above a 9.70 in all but one meet this season.
Junior Beth Ann Ballard is among the Top 3 on vault with a regional qualifying average of 9.690. Ballard has posted a 9.80 in the last two meets. She ranks No. 23 in the Big Ten.
LAST WEEK: OSU WINS OVER BG
Ohio State posted an in-state victory at Bowling Green last Sunday. The Buckeyes totaled a 194.175 to outscore the Falcons’ 193.750 team total. Ohio State won vault, bars and beam in the victory. The squad posted a 48.750 on both vault and bars, while scoring a 48.525 on beam and a 48.150 on floor.
Ballard recorded a first-place finish on bars with a 9.825 to lead Ohio State on the event. On vault, she placed second with a season-best 9.80 mark. With a 9.850, Krauter took first on beam, tying her career high with the mark.
Williamson competed in three events and placed third in each. She posted a Buckeye-best 9.825 on floor, tying her career-high. On vault and bars, Williamson scored a 9.775 to round out the Top 3. Meyer tied Williamson on vault and set a career high on floor with a 9.80.
In the all-around, Best placed second with a 38.775 total score. On beam, Best scored a third-place 9.750. She posted a 9.70 on bars and vault. Dow followed Best in the all-around with a 38.700. She scored a season-high 9.725 on vault to boost her all-around total. Jones was another top scorer for the Buckeyes. She posted a 9.750 on vault and a 9.70 on beam to round out the Top 3 for Ohio State in both events. Jones competed in the all-around for the fourth time this season and scored a 38.250.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
The 17th-ranked Nittany Lions hold a 194.900 regional qualifying average to rank third the Big Ten. The squad has an 8-4 overall record and 1-2 Big Ten record this season after returning 10 letterwinners from 2007-08. Last week, Penn State recorded a season-best 196.175 to win a quad-meet vs. New Hampshire, Bridgeport and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions are led by head coach Steve Shephard who is in his 17th season.
With a 196.010 regional qualifying average, Alabama ranks No. 11 in the nation. The Tide is ranked third on the balance beam, eighth on the uneven bars, 10th on the vault and 14th on the floor exercise in the country. Hosting Denver Feb. 6, the squad posted a season-high 197.025. In the central region, Alabama ranks one spot above Ohio State in third. Sarah Patterson has led the Tide for the past 30 years and holds a 376-83-4 record.
HISTORY OF THE MATCH-UP
Ohio State and Penn State last met in Rec Hall Feb. 24, 2007, where the Buckeyes fell to the Nittany Lions 196.450-194.825. Exactly one year later, Ohio State defeated Penn State in St. John Arena 194.250-193.650. Penn State leads the all-time series 16-24-1.
Alabama and Ohio State have met only once in regular season action. On Jan. 8, 1999, the Buckeyes opened their season at Alabama, but fell 195.075-190.275.
BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State welcomed the Big Ten Network to St. John Arena twice, while having four total meets aired on the network this year. The quad-meet vs. Missouri, Michigan State and Illinois and the dual meet with Iowa was shown in a delayed airing on Big Ten Network. The meet at Penn State with Alabama Sunday will be aired on Big Ten Network at noon March 8. The Big Ten Championships hosted by Illinois at 3 p.m. March 21 will be shown live by the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State returns to Columbus at 7 p.m. March 7 for senior night against George Washington. The Buckeyes conclude their regular season at Auburn at 8 p.m. March 13 before heading to the Big Ten Championships March 21.
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