Jan. 26, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. — The seventh-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics squad (1-2) dropped a 195.625-196.900 decision in its home opener to No. 8 Arkansas (4-1) at the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night. The Sooners were in it through two rotations, but beam proved the difference maker as the Sooners scored a 48.325 on the apparatus, while the Razorbacks posted a 49.275 en route to a program-best team tally.
It was OU’s first regular season dual loss in Norman since Feb. 10, 2006, against Iowa State - a span of 12 consecutive match ups.
The defeat was the first to the Razorbacks in program history, as the Sooners entered tonight’s dual meet with a 4-0 record against Arkansas - including two wins in 2008.
“We were right in it until we went to beam,” said OU head coach K.J. Kindler. “Unfortunately, beam was a polar opposite from our last time out against TWU. We counted far too many wobbles and it ended up being the difference tonight. Give credit to Arkansas, they performed very well tonight.”
The Sooners hit all six routines in opening the dual meet on vault, posting a score of 49.075 on the apparatus. OU was paced by Sara Stone’s career-high-tying 9.875, as the freshmen shared the event title for the second-straight meet. Stone’s vault score tied Arkansas’ Jaime Pisani and Michelle Stout. The Sooners also received a personal-best 9.825 from Natalie Ratcliff and a pair of 9.8s from Mary Mantle and Jackie Flanery.
OU trailed by a tenth of a point after one rotation, as the Razorbacks posted a team tally of 49.175 on bars.
The Sooners counted four scores of 9.8 or greater on bars, led by Hollie Vise’s 9.875. The reigning Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week unveiled a double-front dismount on the apparatus for the first time in collegiate competition, sharing her second consecutive bars title with UA’s Casey Jo Magee. Megan Ferguson shared second after her third-straight 9.85 on bars to start her freshman campaign, while Mantle and Haley DeProspero posted routines of 9.825 and 9.8, respectively. The Sooners still trailed by the same margin at the halfway point, as Arkansas led 98.300-98.200.
OU had a fall and a few wobbles on beam, posting a season-low team score of 48.325. The Sooners entered the meet ranked second in the NCAA with a season average of 49.225. Oklahoma was led by sophomore Natalie Ratcliff’s 9.825 in her second collegiate beam routine. The Sooners also counted scores of 9.725 (Jessica Kinder), 9.7 (Haley DeProspero), 9.65 (Hollie Vise) and a 9.425 (Kristin Smith). Oklahoma trailed 147.625-146.525 as the Sooners moved to floor, with Arkansas closing the meet on beam.
Kinder posted a career-best 9.9 on floor en route to a share of the floor title (her first collegiate event title) and a personal-high all-around of 39.175. Tallying 9.85s were Flanery and Ferguson (career-best), while Mantle and DeProspero scored a pair of 9.75s.
Oklahoma has a quick turn around, hosting Minnesota on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. inside the LNC in OU’s “Beauty and the Beast” spectacular. Oklahoma and the Minnesota Golden Gophers will share the floor with the wrestling squad, who battles N.C. State.