Just three weeks ago, the Penn State women's gymnastics team was in need of a high score, and Brandi Personett delivered perfection.
On Saturday, the Nittany Lions desperately needed a statement road performance, and Personett was perfect, yet again.
For the second time this season, Personett performed a flawless vault and scored a 10.000, leading the No. 15 Lions to a 196.450-194.650 victory at intrastate rival Pittsburgh. The rest of the Lions' vault lineup helped set the table for Personett, with the other four scores all above 9.800. Freshman Sharaya Musser, who preceded the senior, left the judges no choice but to award Personett a perfect score when Musser went 9.925.
"Everyone before me did great, and that set me up," said Personett, who performed the same Yurchenko vault from three weeks ago. "Sticking the landing, there was nothing for the judges to do but give the 10."
With her latest 10.000, Personett became only the second women's gymnast in school history to record multiple perfect scores. The other is Katie Rowland, who did it three times in 2003, including twice on vault.
For a second-straight week, Personett tied her career-high all-around score of 39.600. Personett won the floor exercise with a 9.900 and tied for first on beam with a 9.875.
She went 9.825 on bars to round out her score.
Personett set her all-around high last season in early March, which is when gymnasts begin to hit peak form with postseason meets later that month.
Through just six meets this year, Personett said she feels she is already in postseason form.
"I started getting more confidence earlier in the season," she said. "It feels nice to be confident and know that I can hit for my team."
The Lions needed Personett to hit after they struggled through their first two road meets of the season, averaging just a 194.025. The Lions had to perform well away from Rec Hall with the rankings shifting from team average to regional qualifying score (RQS) Monday.
A team's RQS is comprised of its six highest scores of the season, three of which have to be away meets. The highest score is then dropped and the remaining five are averaged.
After the meet at Pittsburgh, the Lions have only two road meets left -- at Ohio State and at Utah -- meaning they had no room for error Saturday if they were going to drop the sub-par road scores from earlier this season.
"It was a big confidence boost," coach Steve Shephard said of the team's performance. "Being at home for three-straight weeks, we got spoiled. They made the adjustments they needed to make and did it aggressively. They showed a lot of heart."