No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Alabama
Jan. 6 | 6:45 p.m. CT | Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center
|MATCHUP AT A GLANCE|
|2017 Preseason Ranking||No. 1||No. 3|
|2016 Scoring Average||197.588||197.042|
|2016 Team High||198.075||197.750|
UPDATE: Due to winter weather, tonight will now be a Fan Appreciation meet, and admission is FREE.
NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR MEET ONE
Defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Oklahoma hosts a thrilling season-opening matchup, welcoming No. 3 Alabama to Lloyd Noble Center. The two squads will square off at 6:45 p.m. CT on Friday in a showdown between the first- and third-place finishers in the 2016 Super Six. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 24-13, but the Sooners have won their last eight meetings, including topping Alabama twice last season in the NCAA Semifinal II and NCAA Super Six.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
On Friday, the Sooners will look to build upon their 81-4 all-time home record under 11th-year head coach K.J. Kindler. OU has snagged 19 straight victories in Norman, dating back to 2014. In home openers during Kindler’s tenure, the Sooners have posted a 9-1 mark.
COMMIT TO 3
Coming off a spectacular season in which Oklahoma claimed its second NCAA crown, the 2017 Sooners are refocused and ready to work toward reaching the pinnacle of their sport for a third time. OU tied with Florida to win its first national championship in 2014, becoming just the sixth school to ever earn a title, before snagging its first out-right win in 2016.
OU’s senior class will provide leadership on and off the competition floor for the Sooners this season. Chayse Capps, Reagan Hemry, Charity Jones, Kara Lovan, Nicole Turner and McKenzie Wofford make up this year’s talented group. Since their arrival in Norman, the Sooners have secured two NCAA Championships (2014, 2016) and a third-place finish (2016). Capps, Jones, Lovan and Wofford have combined for an impressive 13 NCAA All-America honors in their careers.
The Sooners welcome a trio of talented newcomers to this year’s squad in Maggie Nichols, Jade Degouveia and Brehanna Showers. Along with fellow Sooner Brenna Dowell, Nichols helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2015 World Championships and finished with an individual bronze medal on floor. Degouveia and Showers were both members of the USA Junior Olympic National team. Nichols is anticipated to compete as an all-around, while Degouveia (VT, UB, FX) and Showers (VT, UB, BB, FX) are expected to contribute to the OU lineups as well. However, the OU debuts of Degouveia and Showers will be delayed. Degouveia is recovering from an illness but is expected to be back for the UCLA meet on Jan. 15, and Showers is out eight weeks due to an injury.
ON THE AIR
Friday’s meet will air through Sooner Sports TV on FOX Sports Oklahoma and will stream on FOX Sports Go. Chad McKee and former OU great Kelly Garrison-Funderburk will call the action, and Megan McDonald will be on the sidelines.
The east entrances of Lloyd Noble Center will be open for general public and student access beginning at 5:15 p.m., 90 minutes prior to the start of the meet. ADA entrance will be at the lower south level.
Season tickets are available in both general admission ($25) and reserved seating ($40). Reserved seating secures a location in sections LE3 or LE4, and the seat number info will be printed on the tickets. All reserved season ticket holders will also receive a Lloyd Noble Center concessions meal voucher to use during one home meet.
Additionally, single-meet tickets are available for purchase, including a $2 ticket promo for OU's season opener against Alabama. The promo is available online at SoonerSports.com/PromoCode with code FLIP2LNC or at the doors the night of the meet.
• OU is ranked No. 1 in the NACGC/W Preseason Coaches’ Poll for the second straight season, receiving 47 of 72 first-place votes. It marks the seventh straight year the Sooners have been ranked in the top five nationally to begin the season.
• Oklahoma returns eight previous NCAA All-Americans who own 21 total accolades: Natalie Brown (BB), Chayse Capps (VT, UB, BB, FX, AA), Brenna Dowell (UB, FX), Nicole Lehrmann (UB, BB), Kara Lovan (FX), AJ Jackson (VT, UB, FX), Charity Jones (VT, BB) and McKenzie Wofford (UB).
• Overall, 11 of OU’s regular-season opponents enter the season ranked, including seven squads listed in the top 10 nationally (No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Auburn, No. 9 Georgia, No. 10 California).
• All four of OU’s regular season home matches will be televised live by Sooner Sports TV.
• Opening Meet
• National Championship Celebration (T-shirts for first 1,000 fans)
• Club Night
• Free T-shirts and gum for OU students
• A petting zoo, photo booth, balloon artist and face painter in the Kids Zone from 6:15-8:15 p.m.
• Pre-meet performances from Texas Best and Big Cats/Mega
• National anthem sung by Olivia Kay
• Post-meet autographs.
Next weekend, the Sooners continue their home slate, welcoming No. 4 UCLA to the Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday Jan. 15. The meet is set for a 3:45 p.m. CT start.
Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling the OU Athletics Tickets Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.