"We had a 197 in the back of our mind as a goal," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "We wanted to take a step forward from last week, but at the same time, get some different faces into the lineup. We were able to do both, so I am pleased."
It was just another day at the office for senior Jeana Rice as she led the Crimson Tide with 39.6 all-around effort. It was the 14th time in her All-American career that she has posted a score of 39.5 or better in the all-around. She won three of the four individual events, taking the uneven bars and balance beam with a pair of 9.9s and the floor exercise with a 9.95.
A struggle for the Tide a week ago, Alabama was solid on the uneven bars tonight, posting a 49.3 behind a 9.9 from Rice and 9.875s from sophomore Ashley Miles and freshman Brittany Comeaux. The Tide's mark on the uneven bars underscored their growing maturity and confidence. The 2003 Alabama squad did not hit in 49.3 range until the fifth meet of the season.
Penn State posted a 47.925 on the uneven bars after falls to start and end their set.
The Tide got the night off to a nice 49.350 start on the vault led by Miles' winning 9.95 and a slew of 9.85s from Rice, sophomores Dana Filetti and Dana Pierce and junior Alexis Brion.
Penn State scored a 48.650 on the vault led by a 9.775 from junior Lisa Clark.
Rice continued her standout night on the balance beam, anchoring the Tide with a 9.9. Alabama scored a 49.150 on the night getting a 9.875 from junior Michelle Reeser in the lead off spot and 9.8s from sophomores Rachael Delahoussaye and Mari Bayer.
Penn State went 49.125 on the beam led by Kate Stopper's 9.875.
Alabama finished the night off with a 49.325 on the floor exercise. Along with Rice's 9.95, Brion posted a 9.925 and Bayer went 9.9. Junior Michelle Reeser debuted a new floor routine to the strains of "Sweet Home Alabama" by scoring a 9.825.
The Lions scored a 48.9 on the floor. After opening the season with two home meets, Alabama takes to the road next week, going against SEC rival LSU in Baton Rouge Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.