March 22, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 9 OU women's gymnastics squad closed the regular season in successful fashion on Saturday, becoming the only team in the NCAA top 25 to post an undefeated record with a 196.125-195.625 victory over 25th-ranked Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. The win was the 18th straight for the Sooners this season, with the team posting five of its top seven scores on the road.
The Sooners won event titles on vault, bars, and floor en route to their 31st victory in their last 32 regular season matchups dating back to Jan. 19, 2007. The Sooners' last regular season defeat was to Stanford on March 9, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif.
Individually, senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms led the way and pushed her all-around season title total to double digits (10). Redmond-Sturms claimed a share of all four event honors, winning titles outright on vault (9.875) and bars (9.9), while sharing event wins on beam (9.9) and floor (9.875) with teammates Haley DeProspero (beam) and Jackie Flanery (floor).
Through 12 events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 36 of a possible 44 event competitions.
"We came out a little flat tonight but are happy to secure the win," said second-year head coach K.J. Kindler. "Turning our attention towards hosting the Big 12 Championship next weekend, that is not something we will be able to do if we want to come out victorious. We will need to be on from the start as we will be facing some quality opponents."
Opening the night on bars, sophomore Hollie Vise finished in a tie for second to Redmond-Sturms after a score of 9.85. It marked the seventh consecutive meet that the Dallas, Texas, native has scored higher than a 9.8 on the apparatus.
Moving to the vault, the trio of Flanery, Jessica Kinder and Melanie Root tied for third after all three posted scores of 9.825, tying career bests for both Kinder and Root.
Posting her third consecutive score of 9.825 or higher on floor, DeProspero finished fourth after a 9.825 on the apparatus as the Sooners had three gymnasts in the top four in the event.
Sealing the team win on beam, Redmond-Sturms also clinched the all-around title after her second straight meet with a career-high-tying 9.9 on the apparatus. Matching the score was DeProspero, who posted her highest beam score since February 22.
Oklahoma now turns its attention towards the postseason as it returns to the friendly confines of the Lloyd Noble Center for back-to-back events before hopefully qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. OU hosts both the Big 12 Championship (March 29) and NCAA South Central Regional (April 12) in Norman.
"As a team, we are looking forward to hosting such prestigious events and look forward to some great competition in our home arena," Kindler said. "We hope to attract some great support from our fans as they cheer us on after our undefeated regular season."