NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6 University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team heads to Athens, Ga., Sun., Feb. 12, at 1:30 p.m. CST to face No. 1 Georgia (9-0, 4-0 SEC) at the Stageman Coliseum.
For both teams, the meet will be the second consecutive competition versus a top-10 ranked team in a two-day span.
The Sooners enter the meet carrying a 4-5 overall record and are 0-2 in Big 12 action. Oklahoma is 1-5 on the season versus ranked opponents and holds a 2-0 record on the road. The Sooners will be on the road for the next two weeks facing three teams ranked in the top 15 before hosting Texas Woman’s University on March 3 in the Howard McCasland Field House.
This is the second time this season Georgia and Oklahoma have face one another. On Jan. 6, both teams competed in the third annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic in Cancun, Mexico. The Gym Dogs won the event posting a 195.70 team score and the Sooners finished in fourth (193.325) behind Stanford (194.950) and Denver (193.850).
Last season, OU faced Georgia in a dual meet in Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center. The Sooners defeated the Gym Dogs 196.7-196.3 and managed 14 season-high tallies, individually, and picked up team wins on the uneven bars and balance beam.
“We are really excited to head to Georgia to compete against the defending national champions,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “I think we have the talent and difficulty to beat them.”
The Sooners are coming off a disappointing loss to No. 9 Iowa State despite recording the team’s highest cumulative point total of the season. OU posted a 196.050 but fell shy to Iowa State’s 196.275. The Cyclone’s Janet Anson captured one individual event title and the all-around crown to help lead Iowa State to the victory.
Oklahoma continues to prove that it has one of the best vault teams in the country and is currently No. 4 nationally as a team with a 49.156 average. Brittney Koncak-Schumann is ranked No. 3 individually with a 9.912 season average. Georgia also has a tremendous vault team and is ranked No. 1 nationally as a team with a 49.270 average.
Georgia is coming off a victory over SEC rival and No.3-ranked Alabama. The Gym Dogs survived their closest meet of the year with a, 196.625 - 196.575 win, at the Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday night.
Iowa State Recap
The No. 6 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team fell to No. 9 Iowa State 196.275-196.050 inside the Howard McCasland Field House.
The Sooners move to a 4-5 overall record and 0-2 in Big 12 Conference action despite scoring the team’s highest cumulative point total of the season. Oklahoma is 1-2 at home this season and 1-5 versus ranked opponents. OU’s lone home victory of the season came against Southern Utah on Jan. 20.
Iowa State’s Janet Anson won the individual all-around competition recording a season-high 39.425. Freshman Haley DeProspero had the best finish for the Sooners in the all-around recording a 39.275 and a third-place finish.
DeProspero also led the Sooners on vault posting a 9.85 and earning third place. Junior Brittney Koncack-Schumann finished in fourth place with a 9.825 and sophomore Kiara Redmond recorded a 9.8 and a tie for fifth. As a team, Oklahoma is currently the No. 4 vault team in the nation with a 49.156 season average.
Up 49.000-48.950 heading into the second rotation, the Sooners posted a season-high 49.125 on the uneven bars. DeProspero took the individual honors posting a career-high 9.9 and Lori Winn tied her career high with a 9.85 and finished in a tie for second place. Following the second rotation, Oklahoma led the Cyclones 98.125-98.025.
On beam, the Cyclones took advanatage of Oklahoma’s struggles and took the lead 147.100-146.875 at the conclusion of the third rotation. Koncak-Schumann was the highlight on beam for OU after recording a season-high 9.9 to earn a tie for first place with Iowa State’s Laura-Kay Powell. Winn and DeProspero both performed a 9.825 and finished in a tie for fourth.
Oklahoma finished the meet on the floor exercise where they recorded a 49.175 team score. Kiara Redmond had a solid performance posting a 9.9 and finished in a tie for first with Powell of Iowa State. Koncak-Schumann posted a season-high 9.875 and to earn a tie for third.
No. 1 Georgia is the defending national champions from a year ago. The Gym Dogs lost only one gymnast that competed at last year’s national championships while adding a freshman class of five to their new roster. That freshman class includes 2004 Olympian Courtney Kupets, who earned two medals for the United States at the Athens Games.
Five All-Americans are back including lone senior Brittany Smith. Juniors Kelsey Ericksen and Ashley Kupets and sophomores Nikki Childs and Katie Heenan also earned All-America awards a year ago.
Head Coaach Suzanne Yoculan enters her 23rd year at the helm of the Georgia program. She has an all-time record of 706-112-6 (.860) including the Gym Dogs’ six national titles and 14 SEC championships.
The Gym Dogs have improved their team score at every meet this season, most recently posting a 197.15 in a home win over LSU. Georgia is the only team in the country that has broken the 197-mark twice this year although Utah’s 197.2 is the highest score in the nation. Against LSU, Georgia had its best beam total of the year with a 49.225.
Sooners vs. Gym Dogs...Last Time Out
The last time OU and Georgia met in a regular season dual meet was last season in Oklahoma City. The Sooners defeated the Gym Dogs 196.7-196.3 at the Cox Convention Center. Oklahoma recorded a season-high team score (196.7) and vault score (49.350) in the victory In 2004, the Sooners traveled to Athens, Ga., to face Georgia at the Stegeman Coliseum. The Gym Dogs defeated OU 196.900-196.225 with Chelsa Byrd taking the all-around honors (39.700) and Sooner Kasie Tamayo earning second place with a 39.450.
Gym Dogs in the Rankings
Georgia is at the top of the national rankings this week in both the floor exercise and vault. Georgia has the best average score of any team in the country on the floor exercise, and Katie Heenan, Courtney Kupets and Kelsey Ericksen are rated 1-3 on the event.
The Gym Dogs also lead all teams with their vaulting average as well as their single-meet high of 49.55 against Arkansas. A year ago it took the Gym Dogs until the Super Six Finals at the NCAA Championships to score that high on the vault.
Sooners in the Rankings
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team sits at No. 6 in the latest GymInfo poll for the second straight week. The Sooners are first in both the South Central region and Big 12 Conference with a team-score average of 195.287.
In addition, Oklahoma’s vault team is ranked No. 4 nationally (49.156), tied for ninth on uneven bars (48.781), No. 8 on balance beam (48.562) and No. 9 on floor exercise (48.787).
Individually, the Sooners have also made a mark in the top 25. Junior Brittney Koncak-Schumann is the third-ranked vaulter in the nation with an average of 9.912. Koncak-Schumann also sits in a tie for 23rd in the nation for the all-around with an average score of 39.425.
Freshman sensation Haley DeProspero is ranked No. 11th on balance beam with a 9.812 scoring average and junior Tiffany Willin has earned a 9.85 scoring average and is ranked No. 17 on vault.
The Sooners’ highest ranking in school history was acheived during the 2005 season when OU moved to No. 3. That same year they were ranked No. 5 for one week.
About the Rankings
Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastics teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. From Jan. 9-Feb. 16, teams will be ranked by their total season average. Starting Feb. 20, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). An RQS is based on a team’s top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team’s or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged.
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 continues to establish itself as one of the best conferences in the country with all four teams currently ranked in the top 10. The Big 12 is the only conference with four teams ranked in the top 10. The Sooners lead the way at No. 6 (195.287), followed by Nebraska No. 7 (195.195), Missouri No. 8 (195.040) and Iowa State No. 9 (195.006). Nebraska has posted the highest team score this season in the Big 12 with a 196.850 set against Oklahoma on Feb. 4. Nebraska’s Emily Parsons leads the Big 12 in the all-around competition with an average score of 39.375. Brittney Koncak-Schumann sits in fourth place with a season-high 39.425 set at the TWU triangular meet and a 39.012 season average.
Sooners on Vault
The vault has been Oklahoma’s best event this season. The Sooners have won the event in three-of-four meets and have not scored lower then 48.75 as a team. Oklahoma recorded a season-high 49.350 against Southern Utah which was just short of the all-time high of 49.575 set during the 2002 season.
The Sooners will hit the road for four consecutive meets starting with the trip to Athens, Ga. on Sunday. Oklahoma will face stiff competition during those meets with three-of-four teams currently ranked in the top 15. On Feb. 12 the Sooners face No. 1 Georgia. This is the second time this season OU has faced the Gym Dogs, with the previous meeting on Jan. 6 at the Cancun Gymnastics Classic. Georgia won the event with a 195.70 and OU finished in fourth place with a 193.325. Oklahoma will then head to Columbia, Mo., to finish Big 12 Conference action at No. 8 Missouri on Feb. 17. On Feb. 24 the Sooners will face No. 13 LSU in Baton Rouge, La., before heading to Shreveport, La., to face Centenary.