LIVE BLOG: No. 37 Penn State at No. 9 Auburn

Penn State is coming off of its season high and Auburn is coming off its season low. If you looked at scores from last week, Penn State would come out on top of this matchup. That is not the expected outcome in what is the senior meet for Auburn. Auburn will be looking to bounce back from a season low with a season high to try to maintain its ranking heading into conference championships while Penn State is one spot away from being in a regional qualifying position, and will look to take advantage of a potentially high scoring SEC senior meet environment with a high away score. 

The struggle for Auburn lately, and the event to watch, is beam. With Sunisa Lee not competing tonight, the focus will be on the rest of the lineup. Both Sophia Groth and Gabby McLaughlin will aim to have strong routines after falls last week at Kentucky . Penn State has been becoming a vault team the past couple of weeks with some unique vaults with strong landings. Ava Piedrahita has an Omelianchik that has scored over 9.9 the last three weeks. Watch out for the vault in the second rotation because the last Omelianchik vault to be competed at Auburn scored a 10.

Scores to watch: Auburn is looking to drop a 197.500, while Penn State is looking to drop a 195.525.

Rotation 1: Auburn vault, Penn State bars

Sabados (AUB): Forward on the landing of that full. A small hop back. Some piking. 9.75

Johanson (PSU): Big tkatchev to start. Loose leg form. Slight leg separation on the pak. Stuck the double layout dismount. 9.85

Groth (AUB): It looked like she was going to stick that full, but took a hop back into the salute. Not the most height and distance. 9.8

Johnston (PSU): Clean Maloney to bail. Short last handstand and within the 20 degrees on the giant full going into the stuck double tuck dismount. Some cowboy and staggered feet on the dismount. 9.875

Hubbard (AUB): Finds the landing well on her 1.5. She hops in place and brings her heels together. Great distance. 9.875

Vihrova (PSU): Looks like she might have hit her foot on the bar in her jaeger. Came back on the bail. Slightly short on the last handstand, but hit the giant full into the double tuck dismount with a step. In the replay she did not clip the bar, just was close. 9.8

Hollingsworth (AUB): Twisted early on the table so she hopped diagonally forward on her 1.5. 9.825

I love the similar vibe of both leotards too.

Gallentine (PSU): Good positions on the Maloney to pak. Rushes the cast half a little. Bounces in place on the landing of the double layout dismount. 9.875

Stevens (AUB): A little off to the side on the table, but makes the 1.5 around with a small hop forward. Some soft knees. 9.9

Piedrahita (PSU): Bent arms on the casts and toe on. Solid on the Maloney to pak. Takes a step on the landing of the full twisting double back. Flexed feet in the dismount. 9.875

Gobourne (AUB): Big height on her 1.5 today. Takes the hop forward with one foot on the line. 9.9

Rushlow (PSU): Far on the jaeger which made it a little low, but she connected into the overshoot. Low chest on the full twisting double tuck dismount and has a hop. 9.875

Exhibition Brown (AUB): front handspring front tuck half with a step back. Great power on that vault. Some flexed feet.

Exhibition Mace (PSU): Leg separations on both the Maloney and the pak. Arches in the double layout dismount and takes a step forward.

After 1: Penn State 49.350, Auburn 49.300

The judging was a little loose on bars in the first rotation, but Penn State did a great job focusing on the details there. The Nitty Lions will be looking to bring that momentum to vault that has been its strongest event this year. Auburn with be happy with the more controlled landings, but would have liked to stick more vaults to be closer to a 198 than 197 pace.

Rotation 2: Penn State vault, Auburn bars

Vihrova (PSU): Front pike vault. Good pike position in the air. Had a decent sized hop forward. 9.875

Hollingsworth (AUB): Leg separation on the Maloney, but kept them together on the bail. Small hop back on the full twisting double back dismount. 9.875

Johnston (PSU): Some pike down at the end of her full with a perfectly stuck landing. 9.825

McLaughlin (AUB): Very slight leg separation on the Maloney to pak combination. Waiver in the back on the cast half. A little over on the giant full and hops back on the double tuck. 9.825

Rushlow (PSU): Bounce back on the full. Good position in the air. 9.75

Groth (AUB): Big Ray with pointed toes. Legs together on the pak. Good finish on the giant full and slid back on the double tuck dismount. 9.9

Salcedo (PSU): Large step forward on her Omelianchik. Great pike in the air. 9.75

Brusch (AUB): Solid Maloney to bail. Good handstand. Small hop back on the double layout dismount. 9.9

Johanson (PSU): Really great dynamics on that full with a stuck landing. Great vault. 9.825

Stevens (AUB): Big Ray to open. Hits the bail. Short on the last handstand. Sticks the double layout dismount though. She has dialed that landing in this year. 9.925

Piedrahita (PSU): Almost sticks that Omelianchik. Slightly off to the side. Just the smallest hop forward. 9.875

Gobourne (AUB): Huge tkatchev to pak. Brings her front foot back to her back foot to trie to disguise the landing on her full twisting double tuck dismount. 9.925

A couple of solid exhibitions to finish off the rotation.

After 2: Auburn 98.825, Penn State 48.425

Both teams benefited with the loose bars scoring with Auburn recording a season high on the event without Lee in the lineup, You can see why Penn State has been strong on vault with the controlled landings and great body positions. Penn State is just under 197 pace halfway through which would be huge in qualifying to regionals.

Rotation 3: Auburn beam, Penn State floor

Hollingsworth (AUB): Solid loso series to open. Smooth connection with the switch half to split jump to beat jump. Great side aerial. Hop forward on the gainer full dismount. 9.85

Johnston (PSU): Great control on the opening double pike. A little out of control on the leap series. Slide of the front foot on the landing of the Rudi. Arches around the layout in the back 1.5 to front layout series. 9.8

Hagle (AUB): Clean jump to side aerial to open. Better connection in the front aerial to Korbut this week. Solid wolf turn. Balance check on the straddle quarter after the switch leap. Short on the back 1.5 dismount with a step back. 9.75

Rushlow (PSU): Step out of bounds on the opening double tuck. Big leaps. back 1.5 to archy front layout, but controlled the step out. Rudi and attempts to do a split jump, but does not get a punch so there is no height. 9.625

Brusch (AUB): Smooth front aerial to split jump connection. Shoulder dip on the loso series. Arm wave on the switch to straddle quarter. Sticks the gainer full. Just a little nervy throughout. 9.9

Piedrahita (PSU): High double pike to open and keeps the front foot down on the lunge. Clean back 1.5 to front layout. A little lack of amplitude on the second jump in the dance combo. Great control on the double tuck to end. 9.85

Groth (AUB): Clean through the bhs loso bhs series. Great rhythm in the switch to switch half series. A couple big steps forward on the landing of the side aerial the tuck 1.5. It was great until the dismount. 9.725

Johanson (PSU): Controlled the double pike to open. Great back 1.5 to front layout half to arch jump. Bounces back on the double tuck to end. 9.85

Stevens (AUB): Lean at the end of the bhs loso loso series. Flexed feet. Clean split jump to stag ring. Wobble on the Stevens, but clean wolf turn. Slide back on the back 1.5 dismount. 9.8

Vihrova (PSU): Big full in to open with a controlled landing. Some wonky legs in the air. Around on the triple leap series. Clean front layout to front full to end. 9.875

McLaughlin (AUB): Solid switch to bhs loso. Slow in the connection. Hit the beat jump to side aerial. Over rotated the full turn a little. Hit the positions on the switch to straddle quarter. Stuck the gainer pike dismount. Great routine. 9.95

Salcedo (PSU): Double front to open. Not fully rotates and takes a step back. Does a rouge loso. Great Shushunova in her dance series. Great front layout to front full to front pike. Controlled the landing well. 9.8

Fall in the beam exhibition.

After 3: Auburn 148.075, Penn State 147.600

Not the ideal rotation for either team. After a nervy beam rotation Auburn will likely not get the score it was looking for. Penn State had a couple of mistakes on floor, but can easily score a season high away score with anything over a 48.500 on beam.

Rotation 4: Penn State beam, Auburn floor

Piedrahita (PSU): Solid loso series to open. Soft knees. Cat leap to side aerial. Switch to tuck 3/4 ended with a check. Hop forward on the back 1.5 dismount. 9.775

McLaughlin (AUB): Controlled the back 1.5 to front layout to open. The leap combo was around. Almost around on the tour jete full. The judges will call it around though. Great landing on the double pike to end. 9.875

Johanson (PSU): Solid loso series. Very controlled on the beat to side aerial. Shoulder dip on the full turn. Check on the switch side. Short on the back 1.5 dismount with a hop back. A lot of sporadic crowd noise during that routine. 9.825

Brusch (AUB): Front tuck through to controlled double tuck. The lunge was a little large, but the front foot stayed down. Very high on the leaps, but it looked like the rotations on the jumps were a little off. Chest maybe a little low on the double pike, but a controlled lunge. 9.9

Salcedo (PSU): Wobble on the loso series. Just hesitated. Great standing front tuck. Very high solo wolf jump. Clean on the jump combo. Sticks the punch front layout full dismount. 9.95

Groth (AUB): Very controlled landing on the front double full. Controls the landing position on the leaps as well. Very high front layout out of the back 1.5. Sticks and goes into the lunge on the Rudi to end. Very solid landings. 9.9

Gibble (PSU): Smooth front aerial to back tuck connection. A little arm wave on the full turn. Solid switch to straddle quarter. Stuck the dismount. 9.9

Hollingsworth (AUB): Controlled the lunge on the half in half out. Slightly low chest. Clean switch half to Popa. Keeps the front foot down on the landing of the front tuck through to double tuck. 9.95

Rushlow (PSU): Holds the beat jump to split 3/4s. A check on the loso series. Some feet on the side aerial. Opens early on the back 1.5 dismount and find the stuck landing. 9.85

Stevens (AUB): Controls the front layout to Rudi to open. Not the highest. Great rotation on the tour jete half to wolf full. Solid landing on the double tuck to end. 9.9

Johnston (PSU): Solid loso series to open. A little short of the position in the sheep jump. Hit the side aerial. Holds onto the stick with a lean forward on the back 1.5 dismount. Penn State will be thrilled with that rotation. 9.9

Gobourne (AUB): Her last one at home. Slight slide back of the front foot on the open double tuck. Presents the ending of the leaps. It looks like she almost mistimes the punch, but hit the front full front layout. Bounces out of the double pike to end, but stays in bounds. 9.875

FINAL: Auburn 197.600, Penn State 197.025

Auburn was only 0.150 away from tying its season high without Lee, and was able to improve its NQS. That likely won’t be enough to stay in the evening session at SECs next week. Penn State hit beam and scored a season high that will bode very well for a team that was one spot away from regionals qualification heading into the week.

VT: Stevens, Gobourne 9.9
UB: Stevens, Gobourne 9.925
BB: McLaughlin, Salcedo 9.95
FX: Hollingsworth 9.95
AA: Stevens 39.525

READ THIS NEXT: Bubble Watch: March 8

Live blog by Alyssa Van Auker

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