The University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team tallied a season-high score of 195.150 Saturday night in front of a Sports Pavilion crowd of 1,470, but No. 9 Penn State stole the dual meet victory by trumping the Golden Gophers with a 195.475. The Gophers' strong performance was possible thanks to a pair of team high scores on uneven bars and balance beam.
The Maroon and Gold began the meet with a solid first rotation on vault, scoring a 48.875. Sophomore Kayla Slechta was the top scorer for Minnesota as she tied for second place with a 9.825. The Gophers only vaulted five gymnasts, but all five recorded scores of 9.750 or higher in the event. Sophomore Dusti Russell had a great vault to begin the night as she posted a career-best score of 9.750.
Minnesota would head to bars, which they have struggled with thus far this season, for the second rotation, but the Gophers put together six quality routines to tally a season-high score of 48.675. Junior Janell Campbell and senior Lucy Ennis would share the event crown with scores of 9.800.
The Gophers' strong performance carried over to the beam, where they earned another season-high score, 48.725. Junior Shannon Golich returned to the lineup after battling through an injury the past week to claim third place with a 9.825. Slechta (9.725), freshman Kylie Schermann (9.775) and senior Briana Jones (9.700) would all record their best scores of the season on the event.
The team ended the meet with another impressive floor group as they scored a 48.875. Schermann and Russell finished tied for second with scores of 9.800 while Slechta just missed the top three by earning a 9.775.
Slechta and Russell would be the Maroon and Gold's only all around competitors in the meet. Slechta finished the meet fourth with a 39.025, which is one-tenth under her career best. Russell ended with a 38.425, due to a hiccup on the beam.
The Gophers hit the road next weekend for one of its most high profile meets of the year. They travel to Norman, Okla. for a 7 p.m. quadrangular with Big Ten Conference newcomer No. 4 Nebraska, Centenary and host No. 5 Oklahoma.