The Oklahoma women's gymnastics team has their sights set high for the 2014 season, and the nation's gymnastics coaches are taking notice.
OU received a ranking of No. 3 nationally in the 2014 GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Thursday morning. The Sooners received seven first-place votes, the second-most in the nation behind top-ranked Florida's 21.
The preseason ranking is the highest standing in program history, surpassing the previous best of No. 4 achieved in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This season's poll marks the fourth consecutive year that the Sooners have been ranked in the top five nationally to begin the season.
Oklahoma has now opened nine-straight seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally and the last 14 years ranked in the top 25. The Sooners have been ranked in the top 10 every season under head coach K.J. Kindler.
OU returns 21 of 24 routines from last season's squad that turned in an NCAA Runner-Up team effort at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. The Sooners added five newcomers to the roster this season that bring a variety of impressive national and international accolades to the gym.
Thursday's poll also highlighted the difficulty level of Oklahoma's schedule this season, which will undoubtedly prepare the Sooners as they make a run for top honors at the NCAA Championships in April. OU is set to face a total of 11 top 25 teams throughout their 2014 slate, including an impressive three top five opponents and five top 10 foes.
OU's home slate will be a special treat for Sooner fans, who will get to see No. 3 Oklahoma take on the likes of No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Georgia, No. 16 Illinois and No. 25 Arizona at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU will also take part in the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City this February against No. 2 Alabama and No. 7 Michigan.
The Sooners will be just as fiercely challenged in their road competitions, facing No. 1 Florida, No. 5 LSU, No. 11 Arkansas, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 17 Arizona and No. 21 Kentucky throughout the season.
Oklahoma will open the 2014 season against No. 8 Georgia on Friday, Jan. 10 at 6:45 p.m.
Season tickets for 2014 are on sale now for Sooner fans wishing to join OU at the Lloyd Noble Center this season. Tickets can be purchased by calling the University of Oklahoma Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU, or online at SoonerSports.com.
|2013 Gym Info Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
Other teams receiving votes: Iowa State, North Carolina State, West Virginia, Missouri, Central Michigan, Kent State, Iowa, Ball State, Southern Utah, Michigan State, George Washington, North Carolina, Western Michigan, UC-Davis