Feb. 8, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. — The seventh-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics squad dropped a 196.175-196.000 decision at No. 12 Nebraska on Sunday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb. The Sooners put a scare in the hometown crowd at the Bob Devaney Center, posting a 49.325 on beam in their final event to narrow the gap, but it wasn’t quite enough as OU dropped to 2-3 on the year.
Oklahoma picked up event wins on vault and beam, while also notching individual titles on vault (Ashley Jackson - 9.925) and bars (Jessica Kinder - 9.85). Jackson and Haley DeProspero finished one-two in the all-around with scores of 39.375 and 39.150, respectively.
OU had won its last seven regular season meetings against Big 12 opponents before today’s defeat, dating back to a 196.100-196.00 victory at Missouri on Feb. 17, 2006. Oklahoma’s last previous loss to a conference opponent during the regular season was at the hands of a K.J. Kindler-led Iowa State squad on Feb. 10, 2006, by a score of 196.275-196.050.
“I was very proud of the way we hung in the entire meet,” said Kindler. “It would have been easy to fold after trailing by such a large margin after the first rotation, but we came back with three-straight 49-plus scores. We didn’t give Nebraska any room for error with the way we closed the meet and we can build from that as we move forward.”
In its opening event, Oklahoma was forced to count is first fall on bars this season as the final two Oklahoma gymnasts fell on the apparatus. The Sooners appeared to be in the good shape after opening with a 9.75 from DeProspero, a career-high 9.85 from Kinder in her first collegiate bars title and scores of 9.75 and 9.825 from Melanie Root and Jackson, respectively. That’s where the momentum ended, as Megan Ferguson was unable to stay on during her first release move and Hollie Vise put a scare in the crowd as she tumbled to the mat on her dismount, laying motionless for a brief period, before walking away under her own power. Vise did return to action later in the meet on beam.
OU trailed 49.100-48.525 after one rotation as the Huskers posted six-straight routines of 9.8 or higher on vault - led by a pair of 9.85s from Tricia Woo and Kylie Stone.
The Sooners cut the Nebraska lead in half with a 49.150 on vault, their second-best result on the apparatus this season. OU received a 9.8 from DeProspero, a 9.825 from Flanery and a 9.775 from Root, before closing with a career-high 9.925 from Jackson in her second vault title of the year and a 9.825 from anchor Sara Stone.
Oklahoma trailed 97.950-97.675 at the halfway point, as Nebraska was paced by Stone’s 9.825 on bars.
The Sooners posted a 49.000 on floor as three of the final four OU gymnasts posted scores of 9.8 or better. Oklahoma was paced by Flanery’s 9.85, while Smith scored a 9.825 and Jackson posted a 9.8 from the anchor position to stay in contention for the all-around title. OU trailed the Huskers 146.950-146.675 through three rotations as NU’s Tricia Woo tallied a career-high 9.95 on beam.
Proving why it had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the country on the apparatus, Oklahoma posted six routines of 9.825 or better on beam to close the meet. Leading the way was Ferguson, who rebounded from her fall on bars with a 9.9 on beam. The Sooners received 9.875s from Smith and Vise, a 9.85 from Ratcliff and a pair of 9.825s from Jackson and DeProspero. Oklahoma led for the first time during the meet, before Woo posted a 9.925 on floor from the anchor position to seal the Nebraska win.
The Sooners return to action at Denver on Saturday, Feb. 14. The meet will commence at 7 p.m. (CT), inside Hamilton Gymnasium.