Sept. 26, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma vice president for intercollegiate athletics programs and director of athletics Joe Castiglione and head women's gymnastics coach K.J. Kindler announced OU's 2009 schedule today.
The slate includes match-up's with four squads that competed at the NCAA Championships last season, including road meetings with Florida (Jan. 9) and Alabama (March 13), both of which advanced to the Super Six team finals a year ago.
The reigning Big 12 Champions welcome Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, West Virginia, TWU and Illinois State to the Lloyd Noble Center for regular season competition.
"We are very excited to embark on our 2009 adventure," said Kindler, the 2008 Big 12 Coach of the Year. "In addition to our challenging conference schedule, we will face great teams from all across the country, including top-10 teams from '08 in Arkansas and Denver and Super Six qualifiers Florida and Alabama."
After opening the season Friday, Jan. 9, in Gainesville, Fla., in a dual meet with the Gators, the Sooners travel to Denton, Texas, for a match-up with Texas Woman's University on Jan. 17. The Pioneers concluded the year as USAG Collegiate National Champions in 2008.
OU opens its home campaign on Monday, Jan. 26, against SEC foe Arkansas. The Sooners edged the Lady Backs 196.750- 196.625 last season in Fayetteville, despite a program-tying high score from the home team. The two squads also squared off in the opening session of the NCAA Championships in April, with the Sooners defeating Arkansas 196.075- 195.825.
The Sooners return to the Lloyd Noble Center on Friday, Jan. 30, to close a two-meet home stand in a match-up with Minnesota. It's "Beauty and the Beast" night at the LNC as OU and the Golden Gophers will share the floor with the wrestling programs.
Oklahoma opens the month of February with back-to-back road trips, facing Big 12-rival Nebraska on Feb. 8, and the Denver Pioneers on Feb. 14.
Missouri and West Virginia travel to Norman on Feb. 20, before the Sooners make their first of two trips to Ames, Iowa, against Iowa State (Feb. 27). The Cyclones also host the Big 12 Championship on March 21.
TWU and Illinois State close out the home portion of the Oklahoma schedule on March 6. The Sooners square off with perennial power Alabama and North Carolina in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on March 13 to conclude the regular season slate.
NCAA Regional competition is scheduled for April 4 at six campus sites, while the NCAA Championships will be hosted by Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., April 17-19.
"We are enthusiastic that Nebraska is hosting the NCAA Championships in April," added Kindler. "We have goals to represent the Big 12 Conference at the event and we feel strongly that our competition schedule will prepare us for this premier meet."