March 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Gopher men's gymnastics team's five-meet winning streak came to an end Saturday night, as No. 5 Minnesota fell to No. 7 Penn State, 440.200 to 431.500, on the road.
"Penn State was the better team tonight," head coach Mike Burns said. "We didn’t give them a run for their money like we hoped we would."
Despite the team loss, Minnesota took home two individual event titles as senior Zack Chase was the vault champion with a score of 15.300, his third vault title of the season, and junior captain Steve Jaciuk won the high bar with a score of 15.150.
Senior Matt Frey was the runner-up on parallel bars with a score of 15.000, and Jaciuk tied for third at 14.850. Senior Justin Morinishi also earned a second-place finish, scoring a 15.150 on floor exercise.
The meet marked the Gophers' first outing after most of the squad took a week off for the Winter Cup, and it was the first meet of the year to feature "five up, five count" scoring, meaning teams can no longer discount one gymnast’s score per event.
"Every score counts," Burns said. "No matter what happens, you have to raise your hand and do your routine, and we didn’t quite do that tonight."
The Nittany Lions outscored the Gophers in every event with the exception of parallel bars where the Gophers scored a 73.050, and they never relinquished the lead after the first rotation.
With just two meets remaining before the 2014 Big Ten Championships, the Gophers hope to get back on track in the next few weeks.
"We have to get our ducks back in a row and fix some problems," Burns said. "The key to the game right now is minimizing our deductions as much as we can and get back to where we were before the Winter Cup."
The Gophers will compete in their final home meet of the season next weekend. Minnesota hosts Iowa and Brockport as the team honors their eight senior gymnasts. The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.
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