Lincoln, Neb. - The No. 9 Nebraska women's gymnastics team used a pair of top-notch all-around performances and stellar efforts from several veterans to down Penn State on Sunday afternoon, 197.175-195.150. NU and PSU performed in front of 2,189 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers (4-1, 4-1 Big Ten) posted their best team effort of the season in the win over the Nittany Lions (7-4, 2-2 Big Ten), including season-best marks on vault (49.375) and floor (49.275).
"I'm proud of the whole team," Head Coach Dan Kendig said. "We had great efforts on vault, floor and we saw some really good things on bars. I like where we're going on beam as well. We've still got some work to do and I know we can still get better."
Jessie DeZiel led the way for the Huskers, tying for the event titles on vault (9.925) and floor exercise (9.925) en route to her best all-around score of the season (39.525). Wong followed closely with a 39.500 in the all-around, including a tie for the floor title (9.925) and a third-place finish on vault (9.925). Janelle Giblin tied her career-best on bars for the second week in a row (9.95) to take the event title, while Jennifer Lauer took home the beam title (9.875). Brittany Skinner wrapped up the event title sweep for the Huskers by tying for top honors on vault (9.925).
The Huskers kicked off the afternoon on vault, scoring a season-best 49.375 to begin the meet. NU's efforts were fueled by three consecutive scores of 9.90 or better from Wong, Skinner and DeZiel. Wong began the scoring rush, tying her season-best on vault with a 9.90. Skinner followed up by tying her career-best with a 9.925, and DeZiel posted a new season-high with an identical 9.925.
The Nittany Lions began their afternoon on bars, scoring a 48.975. PSU was led by Sharaya Musser's mark of 9.875. With one rotation in the books, Nebraska led Penn State by a score of 49.375-48.975.
NU took to bars for their second rotation, posting a team mark of 49.350. DeZiel and Giblin paved the way for NU's best team score on bars since January, beginning with DeZiel's 9.90. Giblin followed by by hitting her second 9.95 of the season in as many meets, tying her career-high for the second time this season. Skinner tied her career-best 9.875, and Wong added a 9.85.
Penn State earned a 49.225 on vault, led by Madison Merriam's mark of 9.90. Following the second rotation, the Huskers extended their lead over the Nittany Lions to 98.725-98.200.
Several gritty performances anchored Nebraska's efforts on beam, allowing the Huskers to finish with a 49.175 on the afternoon. Lauer led the way with a 9.875, her highest score since Jan. 19 against Michigan State. Giblin's powerful effort continued, as the senior picked up a career-best-tying mark of 9.85. Skinner added a season-best 9.85 to aid in NU's efforts.
Led by a 9.90 from Musser, Penn State earned a 49.150 on floor exercise. With only one rotation remaining, Nebraska held a solid 147.900-146.350 lead over the Nittany Lions.
The Huskers broke through on floor in their final rotation, cruising to a season-high 49.275. Wong and DeZiel came through again for the Big Red, earning consecutive marks of 9.925 to lead the way for NU. Wong's score tied her career-high, while DeZiel's was a season-best for 2013. Schleppenbach added a 9.85 for the Huskers.
Penn State struggled on beam in their final rotation, battling to a team score of 47.800 and a final team mark of 195.050. It wouldn't be enough to upend the Huskers, who wrapped up the evening with a 197.175.
DeZiel and Wong battled to final rotation for the all-around title, but DeZiel emerged victorious with a season-high 39.525 to earn the award. Wong followed with a 39.500, while PSU's Musser finished with a 38.825.
The Huskers will hit the road for the third time this season next weekend, facing No. 13 Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., at 5 p.m. CST (4 p.m. MST). The two teams will square off in McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus. Arizona holds a No. 13 ranking nationally and a record of 6-5 overall this season.