Feb. 29, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6 Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad tumbled its way to a 195.650-189.350 victory over No. 35 Texas Woman's University in Friday night's Flip for the Cure breast cancer awareness event at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms won her Big 12-leading seventh all-around title in just nine `08 events with a score of 39.400, as teammate Haley DeProspero finished second (39.000).
Sweeping all individual and team event honors in Friday night's competition, Oklahoma has either won the event title outright or shared the honor in 31 of a possible 36 event competitions.
Winners of 15 straight, the Sooners continue to build on their program-best win total to start a season. Clinching the Big 12 regular season title in last week's win over Missouri, OU has bested the start of the 1985 Oklahoma squad that went 13-0 before placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.
OU has won 28 of its last 29 regular-season matchups dating back to Jan. 19, 2007. Winners of all regular season meets on the year, the Sooners last regular season defeat was to Stanford on March 9, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif.
With the win on Friday night, OU completed the season sweep of TWU, as Oklahoma defeated the Pioneers by a score of 196.450-192.800 in Denton, Texas, on Jan. 19.
Opening the night with a team win on vault, Jackie Flanery led off with a 9.8 in matching her second-highest score of the year on the apparatus. DeProspero and Natalie Ratcliff posted matching 9.75s, and junior Jessica Kinder added a 9.7. The Sooners closed the event with scores of 9.75 from Mary Mantle and an event-winning 9.85 from Redmond-Sturms, to take a 48.900-48.100 lead after one rotation.
After a fall on bars in the opening spot, senior Caitlin Hinkis got the Sooners back on track with a 9.8. DeProspero followed with a 9.775 before Hollie Vise scored a career-high-tying 9.875 in winning her second career bars title. Stephanie LoPiccolo and Redmond-Sturms rounded out the Oklahoma event win with scores of 9.75 and 9.825, respectively.
Jessica Kinder led off with a 9.625 on beam and Redmond-Sturms followed with a 9.825 in the second spot. After an OU fall in the third position, LoPiccolo and Vise rebounded with respective scores of 9.625 and 9.825. DeProspero made sure the Sooners wouldn't have to count a fall, scoring a 9.725 in the anchor spot as OU took a 146.550-142.800 advantage into the final rotation.
Clinching the OU event sweep on floor, Kristin Smith led off with a 9.75. Kinder posted a career-high tying 9.85 in the second spot as Mantle and DeProspero followed with 9.75s. Flanery scored a 9.85 before Redmond-Sturms anchored with a 9.9 in earning her third event title of the night and sealing the all-around.
"We have a lot of work to do in the upcoming week," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "I thought it was a weak performance on our part and with two really strong opponents (Auburn and Arkansas) during the next two weeks, we're going to have to be much sharper than we were tonight."
"We scraped by tonight," said Kindler. "We didn't count a fall, but we were not on our game and that must change starting next week."
The Sooners close out their regular season home schedule next Friday in welcoming Auburn to the Lloyd Noble Center for Senior Night at 7 p.m. One lucky OU student will win a $1,000 scholarship that will be deposited directly into their bursar account.
"It will be a big competition for our seniors as I know they will want to go out on top," said Kindler. "I know the team will rally around those three and hopefully we can get back on track with our season goal of improving week in and week out."
Visit www.SoonerSports.com for more information on the OU gymnastics squad as the team continues its march towards the NCAA Championships.