Jan. 19, 2008
DENTON, Texas -- Sweeping all four event titles for the third consecutive meet, the No. 9 OU women's gymnastics squad coasted to a 196.45-192.8 victory over Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, on Saturday night. Senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms won her third all-around title of the season with a career high 39.65 in front of the second-largest crowd in TWU history as the Sooners posted season high's on bars (49.2) and floor (49.275).
The Sooners improved to 5-0 on the year while TWU slipped to 0-4. OU has won 18 of its last 19 regular-season matchup's dating back to Jan. 19, 2007.
OU burst out of the gates to a commanding 49.2-48.050 lead after a first rotation that saw the Sooners hit all six bar routines en route to a season-high bars score of 49.2. In the anchor spot, five-time All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms posted a career-high 9.925 to lead the Sooners. Ashley Jackson's 9.85 also marked a career best while Haley DeProspero, Stephanie LoPiccolo and Hollie Vise followed with a trio of 9.825s to clinch the event title. Vise's score marked the third career high set during the event, besting her previous best of 9.675.
"We are excited about the way they performed tonight," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "Obviously we would like to hit all routines on a few of the events we missed tonight, but the potential is there and that is exciting."
After a slow start on vault that included a fall in the second spot, Oklahoma closed with four solid routines for a score of 48.725 on the apparatus. Jackie Flanery got the Sooners back on track with her score of 9.75 and was followed by Mary Mantle and Natalie Ratcliff who posted scores of 9.8 and 9.75, respectively. Anchoring the lineup, Redmond-Sturms won her second event title of the night with a score of 9.925.
The Sooners led 147.2-144.05 after a season-high floor score of 49.275 that was highlighted by Redmond-Sturms' career-high 9.95 from the anchor position. The Los Angeles, Calif., native entered tonight's competition tied for the NCAA lead on floor with a 9.925 season average. Kristin Smith tied her season-best score of 9.8 while DeProspero notched a season-high 9.8. Flanery followed with a career-high 9.875 in the fourth position, with Jackson posting a 9.85 from the fifth spot.
Finishing the night on beam, OU posted its third 49.00-or better score on the night with a team total of 49.25. DeProspero tied a career high in winning the event title with a 9.925 mark. The McKinney, Texas, junior entered the night ranked No. 2 in the nation on beam. It was also a career night for Vise who posted a 9.9 to best her previous best of 9.875. The Sooners also counted a 9.7 from Jackson, a 9.85 from LoPiccolo and a 9.875 from all-around winner Redmond-Sturms.
Tonight's contest marked the third leg of a four-meet road trip to start the `08 season. The Sooners next travel to Morgantown, W. Va., on Sunday, Jan. 27, for their second meeting of the short season with West Virginia. The two faced off in the second session of the Cancun Classic with Oklahoma defeating the Mountaineers 195.175-192.125 en route to the event title. The quad meet with WVU also features George Washington and William & Mary. Action is slated for a 12:00 noon (CST) start.
"It's always a good experience to go in and compete somewhere you haven't in the past," added Kindler. "I know they (WVU) put on a wonderful competition and it's going to be great for our kids to go on the road and compete in a hostile environment. If you're a strong road team, you're a strong team and that's something we will have to focus on this year to reach the goals we have set for ourselves."
Oklahoma hosts Nebraska in the team's home opener on Feb. 1 at the Lloyd Noble Center. The 7 p.m. meet will also feature both school's men's squads.
Visit www.SoonerSports.com for more information on the OU women's gymnastics squad as the Sooners continue their quest toward the NCAA Championships.