The No. 10 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team was able to edge out a narrow victory in its home opener versus Penn State via a final score of 195.150-194.000 despite being down heading into the final rotation.
The Huskers started off hot with a group score of 49.175 on vault to top Penn State, which finished with a group score of 48.825. The Huskers then narrowly were beat out by the Nittany Lions who had a group score of 48.975 over the Huskers’ 48.800 on uneven bars.
The third rotation saw the Huskers struggle as they scored a 47.775 and fell behind after Penn State scored a 48.775 in floor. In the final rotation the Huskers beat out the Nittany Lions with a 49.400 in floor as Penn State only managed a 47.425 in beam as the Huskers claimed their second victory of the season.
“I was proud of our fight even with it not being our best performance,” head coach Heather Brink said. “We talk about how we are going to respond to a team when we are in situations like tonight and you are down late into a meet and their response is the only thing they can choose and they chose to respond the way they did.”
Sophomore Adnerys De Jesus shined, claiming her first All-Around title of her career as well as winning a share of the vault title, which she shared with senior Taylor Houchin. De Jesus claimed that All-Around title victory with a score of 39.075 and finished with an identical 9.90 which matched her with Houchin. De Jesus attributed the team’s ability to come back and not crumble under pressure to their attitude and mental toughness as a group.
“I think that we have really been preaching that all preseason, after last year struggling to come back from a loss or fall but this year we have done a really good job of bouncing back and putting the bad performances behind and finishing strong,” De Jesus said.
Along with sharing the title for vault with De Jesus, Houchin also grabbed the title for uneven bars with a score of 9.875. Houchin also was a big part of the Husker’s floor event success with a score of 9.90. Houchin was proud of the team’s determination to not let up after falling behind, and the team responded with its best event of the night during floor as each Husker participant posted a 9.80 or higher score during the event.
“That setback on beam was really brutal to be a part of, but I think that just keeping our heads up and trusting our training on floor, we knew that we could come back so seeing that happen was really special for all of us,” Houchin said. “The floor score was our highest of the night so I think it shows how much determination and fight this team has in moments of adversity.”
Nebraska will head to East Lansing, Michigan to take on Michigan State in another Big Ten dual on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m.