Jump to agate FAYETTEVILLE – A new look and a new attitude lifted the 21st-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team to a near miss in non-conference action against No. 15 Penn State in Barnhill Arena Friday. Arkansas scored a season-best 194.575 just missing the Penn State win. The Nittany Lions posted a 194.650 in the Gym’Backs’ closest meet of the season. “We’re pleased with the energy and excitement we had in the gym tonight,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “But we’re also disappointed we couldn’t get the win. We have really worked hard and are just a bit shy of getting over that hump.” Arkansas had season-bests on all four events highlighted by four individual bests on vault, bars and floor. A couple of falls on the beam again hurt Arkansas but the team rallied for a strong finish on the floor exercise. Freshman Alexandra LaChance captured her first collegiate event win with a victory on the vault. LaChance scored a season-best 9.850 leading Arkansas to a 48.925. Mallory Machnik, Audra Loveless and Allison Schmohl also had season-highs on the vault for Arkansas. Senior all-SEC gymnasts Melissa Leigh paced Arkansas with a win on the bars with a season-best 9.80 as the Gym’Backs scored a 48.625. Dana McQuillin, Rachel Barnett and Samantha Cortez also had season-bests in the meet. The Gym’Backs had two falls, having to count one on the beam but still scored a 48.000 as their season high. Senior Katie Hardman paced the Gym’Backs with a 9.775. Arkansas finished in the top four spots on an engergtic night on the floor. Sophomore Emily Peacock, sophomomore Mallory Machnick and junior Rachel Barnett tied for the win with a 9.825 while junior Cassie Drew was fourth with a 9.80. “We finished the meet and felt we were as good as they (Penn State) was,” said Rene Cook. “We really wanted the win but it’s the scores that really matter. We are happy with the higher numbers.” “Overall, I think we’re really pleased,” echoed Mark Cook. “We were able to eliminate some of the falls and we’ve worked hard on that all week. Unfortunately, we’re still a bit disappointed we didn’t get the win.” Arkansas next embarks on a two-meet road stand traveling to No. 5 Florida next Friday, followed by a meet at No. 3 Alabama the following week. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.