Jan. 15, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. -- The No. 2 Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) posted its second straight win over an SEC opponent with a 196.300-195.325 victory at Auburn (0-2, 0-1 SEC) on Friday.
OU led wire-to-wire for the second straight meet, quieting the 5,750 hometown fans inside Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
The Sooners hit 24-of-24 routines en route to a sweep of all four event titles, as Oklahoma broke the 49.000-point barrier on every apparatus. Individually, Hollie Vise (bars-9.925, beam-9.875), Megan Ferguson (beam-9.875) and Jackie Flanery (floor-9.85) won event titles.
"It is very exciting to be on the road for the first time and see how tough you are, in particular because our warm up was not one without a couple of hiccups," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "I felt that they really regrouped and got their heads together. I'm very proud of how they performed. We were solid throughout, but the girls realize there is so much room for improvement which is the exciting part."
OU improved to 43-6 in the regular season under Kindler, including back-to-back victories over top-10 opponents to open the 2010 campaign, without an all-arounder in the lineup for the second straight meet.
Oklahoma opened the dual meet with a season-high 49.225 on bars, capped off by Vise's career-high 9.925 from the anchor position that sealed the individual and event win on the apparatus. OU was consistent throughout the entire lineup, as all six Sooners in the bars rotation scored a 9.8 or higher. Natasha Kelley matched her score from last week's win over Florida (9.85), while Jackie Flanery and Ferguson both tallied 9.825s.
OU's uneven bars score was its highest since its last regular season venture into SEC territory, when the Sooners posted a season-high 49.250 at Alabama on March 13, 2009.
The Sooners won the vault title with their second consecutive season high to start the meet. Oklahoma posted a team tally of 49.050 on the apparatus, paced by Natalie Ratcliff's 9.85. Sara Stone (9.825), Jackie Flanery (9.8) and Mary Mantle (9.8) all broke the 9.8 barrier. Melanie Root was a last minute replacement in the lineup and posted a 9.7.
Flanery led the Sooners with a 9.85 on floor from the anchor position as Oklahoma scored a 49.000 on the event. Ferguson and Kristin Smith both notched 9.825, season best's for each.
OU clinched the win with a team score of 49.025 on beam. The Sooners recorded a pair of 9.875s from Ferguson, the reigning Big 12 beam champion and 2009 All-American, and Vise.
"I thought we showed a lot of strength, particularly on bars," said Kindler. "Getting off to the start that we did was vital on the road."
Friday's victory over the Tigers was Oklahoma's third straight over AU and evened the all-time series at four apiece. Through two meets, Oklahoma has won 14 of a possible 16 combined team and individual event titles.
OU next travels to Champaign, Ill., for a meeting with 2009 NCAA Championships qualifier Illinois on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. (CT). The Illini entered the weekend ranked No. 23 in the country.