No. 17 Women's Gymnastics Solid, But Defeated In Big 12 Opener

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 31, 2003

Feb. 1, 2003

NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 17 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team was defeated by No. 4 Nebraska Saturday evening inside the Devaney Center on the NU campus. The final tally had the Huskers on top by a score of 197.175-195.750. Oklahoma fell to 3-6 on the season and 0-1 in the Big 12, while the Huskers improve to 9-1 and 2-0 in conference action.

"This was a great team effort," said OU Head Coach Steve Nunno. "This is one of our top road scores of all time and we did not have a perfect meet. Patricia (Aoki) was outstanding on all-around and the freshmen really came through for us again. Allison Landis had a clutch performance, as did Karina Agafonova, filling in for Christy Gerard who fell ill prior to the meet."

The story was a familar one for the Sooners as the newcomers led the way and senior Patricia Aoki continued to flash her senior leadership. On the bars, the Sooners first event, junior-transfer Karina Agafonova landed a 9.850, while freshman Tara Anderson produced a 9.825. Both scores were career highs. On vault freshman Katie Hostler and Aoki each registered 9.875, while sophomore Erin Labarr recorded a 9.825. For the second consecutive meet Aoki (39.325) set a new career-high in the all-around.

Through two events the Huskers held a narrow lead at 98.825-97.925. NU was led by junior Tami Harris who opened the meet with a perfect 10, not to be outdone was senior Jess Wertz who also vautled to a 10. Junior Richelle Simpson also turned in a perfect 10 on beam.

Freshman Meredith Fricke hit with a 9.825 on floor, while Aoki tumbled her way to a 9.875. Through three events the Huskers extended their lead to 147.700-146.650.

Sophomore Allison Landis recorded a season-high of 9.900 on beam, while freshman Melissa Smith put up her own career-high with a 9.850. Freshman Kelly Haggerty would outscore everyone with a team meet-high of 9.925 on beam.

"Haggerty went out and got another 9.925 on beam," said Nunno. "She continues to amaze us, especially considering the circumstances. She went right after Karina Agafonova fell and put up the team's high score of the evening. These freshman continue to pick up the slack for this team."

Nebraska extended the nation's longest home meet winning streak to 47

"Our beam was outstanding tonight and I feel like we have one of the best beam teams in the country," said Nunno. "We didn't have any major mistakes tonight, just a few fluke errors. That stuff we can work out in the gym and we'll get better. We competed without three of our normal all-arounders and still put up a good score on the road in a difficult environment."



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