The Rec Hall crowd had waited patiently for months to see its Penn State women's gymnastics team compete again.
The crowd did not have to wait long to find something to cheer about, as the No. 22 Nittany Lions, and specifically Brandi Personett, gave their fans reasons to cheer early as they swept their home-opening quad-meet against Cornell, Iowa and Yale with a score of 195.325 on Saturday.
The stage was already set for Personett by the time it was the senior anchor's turn on the Lions' first event, vault. Senior Casey Rohrbaugh set a new career high on vault, posting a 9.900, to begin the meet for the Lions. Rosie Smith followed with a 9.900, also a personal best.
When it finally reached Personett, the momentum from her teammates and the home crowd springboarded her to history. Personett was perfect. A flawless 10.000 vault.
Personett's perfect score makes her only the second to ever do it on vault and eighth overall in school history. There hasn't been a 10.000 at Penn State since Katie Rowland did it three times in 2003.
As a team, the Lions finished vault with a 49.500 on vault, with four scores of 9.900 or higher. That team total ties a Penn State record on the event set in 2003.
"Casey was first and she stuck her vault, and we hit the ground running from there," said sophomore Whitney Bencsko, who finished second in the all-around. "Stick after stick, the crowd got more intense and more insane. Then, Brandi was just out of control. It was unbelievable."
The frenzied crowd, finally in the Lions' favor this time, was a welcoming sight for the gymnasts, who began their season with consecutive road meets. They struggled in each, finishing second in both.
The Lions carried the momentum from vault and the energy from the crowd into bars. Four of the five scores on bars were a 9.800 or higher, and the Lions finished with a score of 49.100, a season high.
"It makes a huge difference," Rohrbaugh said of the atmosphere. "When were home, it's like a comfort level. ...You feel the crowd behind you."