After a successful home meet with high scores recorded in every event, the West Virginia gymnastics team looks to continue its momentum in a four-team meet in Philadelphia at 5 p.m. tonight.
The Mountaineers will compete in the annual Unite for Her Pink Invitational against Penn State, West Chester, Southern Connecticut and Temple, taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
In its previous meet, West Virginia put up a score of 195.6 in its eventual loss to then No. 24 Kentucky. The 195.6 score marks its third-highest finish of the season.
After dropping out of the rankings following a few tough road matchups, the Mountaineers are back in the National Rankings, coming in at No. 23. These are the first rankings of the season that use regional qualifying scores.
These RQS scores are used to determine who qualifies for the NCAA Regional Championships at the end of the year.
The top 36-ranked schools based off of these scores qualify for the competition. The scores are based on the team’s best six scores, three are at home and three are on the road.
West Virginia currently holds an RQS score of 195.42, enough to bump up its ranking this week.
The Mountaineers have a good chance of taking home a win for the first time in five meets, holding a higher ranking than their opponents for the first time since their meet on February 5th against Iowa State.
Having a higher ranking doesn’t mean it will be an easy one for West Virginia. While it’s leagues ahead of three of the opponents, Penn State’s squad is nothing to scoff at.
The Nittany Lions have not competed in enough meets in order to be given an RQS score, but with an average meet score of 195.075, they will in all likelihood rank in the top 30 with a solid performance on Friday.
Penn State and West Virginia gymnastics have a long history against each other, heavily favoring the Nittany Lions.
Penn State boasts a 30-6 record against the Mountaineers, which includes last year’s dominant road win in Morgantown with a final score of 196.750-195.900.
Penn State’s last meet was a win on the road against Maryland where it put up a score of 196.350, hitting the elusive 196 mark that West Virginia has failed to obtain so far this season.
Junior Kiera Brown won the all-around title and had the highest scores of the day on vault and bars with marks of 9.825 and 9.9, respectively. Look for her to be the X-factor in Friday’s meet.
The other teams in the meet are a less daunting matchup than the Nittany Lions but are nevertheless still talented squads. West Chester comes in at No. 55 in the National Rankings, Temple at No. 57 and Southern Connecticut State at No. 64.
With only two more away meets slated on the schedule, Friday’s meet is massively important for the Mountaineers, who are looking to drop one of their more unsightly road scores with a solid performance in Philadelphia and possibly get a victory