Monday, January 6, 2014

Sports Desk: Penn State Goes over the Hills and through the Woods to win at Iowa State in women's gymnastics

Gathering from the photos we saw from the Penn State women's gymnastics team, the Nittany Lions had quite a trek to Ames, Iowa, where they faced Iowa State in the first major NCAA meet of the season in women's college gymnastics.

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, we could see the team's photos of snowy places, such as West Virginia, as they journeyed to middle of the Hawkeye State in what is normally and presumably a 15-hour drive.

Thanks to two LSU transfers, juniors Randi Lau of Hawaii and Sidney Sanabria-Robles (the image is of Penn State gymnast Sharaya Musser who graduated last year), Penn State edged out a 193.925-193.550 win over the home mat Cyclones.

Lau's outstanding 9.825 performance on the vault was crucial for the visitors. Lau also tied for second in the all-around with Sanabria-Robles.

For the Cyclones, Caitlin Brown, a stand-out junior, won the all-around with a career-best 38.900; Brown also won the balance beam for the home team.

SIDEBAR: Back on Dec. 22, Penn State's women's volleyball won their fifth NCAA title in seven years in Seattle. The Nittany Lions faced their surprising Big 10 Conference Rival Wisconsin Badgers in the title game. The Badgers shocked the college volleyball world by upsetting then-defending NCAA champs in Texas in the semi-finals.

Senior Deja McClendon, from Louisville, Ky., delivered the game-winning kill which propelled Penn State to win the match 3-1.

SIDEBAR TWO: Lastly on New Year's Day, it was a grand Rose Bowl for the Michigan State Spartans football team as they pulled a slight and narrow 24-20 upset over Stanford in Pasadena, Calif. Spartans quarterback Connor Crook, a sophomore, threw for a career high 332-yards win in the victory for the Big Ten champions.

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