NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team got a much needed win on Friday night at the Lloyd Noble Center, narrowly edging No. 7 Stanford, 196.275-196.175. The victory was keyed by the Sooners’ performances on the uneven bars and the floor exercise.
OU had dropped three straight meets, all to top ranked competition, before Friday's upset of Stanford.
“We just have such a tough schedule and the past couple weeks have been rough,” said Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno. “To have a great meet like we did against the past three teams (Iowa State, Nebraska, Georgia) and not win really wore down the team. They really needed this win tonight and did so against a great team.
"Stanford opened the door for us and we sensed it and had some clutch performances. We still need to improve on our team scoring and we have to get better on the beam. But our floor was great tonight and so was our bars as usual.”
OU (8-8) came into Friday night’s meet ranked No. 5 in the nation on the uneven bars and posted another solid score against Stanford with a 49.300. The Sooners were led by junior Erin LaBarr and senior co-captain Kasie Tamayo’s 9.900s in the event. Stanford also was ranked high on the bars, coming in at No. 3. In Friday’s meet the Cardinal
posted a 48.700 their lowest team event score of the night.
The floor exercise also was solid for OU as the Sooners recorded their second score of 49.500 or higher in the event at home. The Sooners’ 49.500 topped Stanford’s 49.100 and sophomore Katie Hostler was the top performer winning the event with a 9.925 (tied career high). Freshman Ashley Cooney tied Hostler on the floor with a career-best score.
OU’s only other top finish came from Tamayo. The California native, fresh off her Big 12 Gymnast of the Week award, took first in the all-around with a 39.425. Not far behind Tamayo and Cooney, who, in her second ever collegiate all-around competition, finished second with a career best 39.375. Last weekend at Georgia, Cooney took third with a 39.200.
Stanford managed to defeat OU on the beam (49.275-48.425) and on the vault (49.100-49.050). Stanford jumped out to an early lead and it was not till the last event on the bars where OU squeaked by for the victory.
“This was one of those nights where the girls rallied and you have to be happy about that,” added Nunno.
Next up for the Sooners is a road match-up with Southern Utah on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in Cedar City, Utah.