Feb. 27, 2009
AMES, Iowa — The No. 10 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team (7-1) proved why it is the highest ranked Big 12 squad in 2009, sweeping all four event titles and a share of every event honor, en route to a 196.800-195.525 victory over No. 22 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Friday.
It was OU’s second highest score of the season, as it reeled off its sixth-straight victory (fifth outright) in the series, dating back to a 196.250-194.425 win on Feb. 16, 2007. Under third-year head coach K.J. Kindler, OU hasn’t lost to her former squad (5-0-1).
Oklahoma’s Haley DeProspero (vault-9.875), Melanie Root (bars-9.825), Hollie Vise (beam-9.95, bars-9.825) and Kristin Smith (floor-9.9) all won individual event titles as DeProspero bested ISU’s Jasmine Thompson for the all-around title.
A winner of 38 of its last 42 regular-season matchups, Oklahoma improved to 12-2-1 versus Big 12 opponents since the start of the 2007 schedule, including an 8-1 mark during regular season action.
“We finally ended a meet the way we know we can compete,” said Kindler. “We started off a little cold on bars, which has been a problem this season. It’s just little things like landings and stuck handstands, but cleaning those up can mean all the difference in the end. Melanie Root knocked it out of the park on bars, but we couldn’t build off of that.”
“We were on fire those last three events though,” added Kindler. “My hats off to Megan Ferguson, who went three-for-three on the night and to Hollie (Vise) with her career high on beam.”
Opening the away meet on bars, the Sooners posted a team tally of 48.900. OU received a boost early, as sophomore Root posted a career-high-tying 9.825 from the second position. Vise matched Root’s 9.825 from the anchor spot, ending her routine with a double-front dismount for the first time since Jan. 26. Megan Ferguson preceded Vise with a 9.8, as DeProspero and Ashley Jackson capped off the rotation with a pair of 9.725s.
Oklahoma trailed 48.950-48.900 after one rotation as Iowa State posted its second highest season tally on vault, receiving a pair of 9.85s from Cyclone gymnasts Michelle Browning and Thompson.
The Sooners quickly snatched the lead back on vault, as DeProspero tallied a season-high 9.875 from the opening position for the event title. It was her highest score on the apparatus since posting a 9.925 as a freshman, as OU notched its second-best vault score this season. Root and Sarah Stone scored a pair of 9.85s, while Jackie Flanery and Jackson closed with 9.825s.
OU led 98.125-97.825 at the midway point, as the Cyclones scored a 48.875 on bars behind a 9.825 from Ceilia Maccani.
DeProspero continued her strong night on floor, matching her season best with a 9.85 from the second position, as the rest of the Sooners matched her intensity. Kinder followed with a 9.8, before an event-title-sharing 9.9 from Smith (tied a career high). OU closed with a pair of 9.875s from Flanery and Jackson, taking a 147.425-146.550 lead into the final apparatus. The Cyclones were led on beam by Jody McKellar and Ashley Kent in the third rotation, as the duo both scored a 9.8.
The Sooners clinched the win with a 49.375 on beam, their second-best score this season on the apparatus. OU earned a share of its fourth individual event title with a career-high 9.95 from Vise. Ferguson posted a 9.9, while Smith (9.875) and DeProspero (9.85) were right on her heels. Rounding out the Oklahoma scoring on the apparatus was Jackson (9.8).
Oklahoma improved to 39-14-1 all-time against the Cyclones, dating back to a meeting at the 1981 Big 8 Championships. OU’s 39 wins in the series is the third-most by an ISU opponent, behind only Nebraska (76) and Missouri (43).
Oklahoma closes out its 2009 home slate on Friday, March 6, with Senior Night at the Lloyd Noble Center at 7 p.m. (CT). Facing Illinois State and Texas Woman’s University, the Sooners will honor seniors Haley DeProspero, Ashley Jackson, Jessica Kinder and Gina Lesko – who are competing in Norman for the final time.