Sooners Open 2018 Season at Georgia
No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 16 Georgia
Jan. 15 | 1 p.m. CT | Athens, Ga. | Stegeman Coliseum
|MATCHUP AT A GLANCE|
|2018 Preseason Ranking||No. 1||No. 16|
|2017 Scoring Average||197.858||196.565|
|2017 Team High||198.387||197.325|
NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR MEET ONE
LET’S GET IT STARTED
Defending national champion and preseason No. 1-ranked Oklahoma will be put to the test early as it starts on the road at preseason No. 16 Georgia. The two squads will square off at 1 p.m. CT on Monday in a showdown between two elite programs. The Bulldogs leads the all-time series, 19-12, but the Sooners have won the last nine of the last ten meetings, including last season’s battle at Lloyd Noble Center.
Coming off a spectacular season in which Oklahoma claimed its third NCAA crown and posted the first perfect season in program history, the 2018 Sooners are refocused and ready to work toward reaching the pinnacle of their sport for a fourth time and third in a row. OU tied with Florida to win its first national championship in 2014, becoming just the sixth school to ever earn a title, before snagging its first outright win in 2016 and adding another in 2017.
On Monday, the Sooners will look to build upon their 70-10 all-time true road record under 12th-year head coach K.J. Kindler. OU has snagged 11 straight victories on the road, dating back to 2016. In road openers during Kindler’s tenure, the Sooners have posted an 8-3 mark. The Sooners last opened a season on the road against Georgia in 2013, walking away with the victory.
OU’s senior class will provide leadership on and off the competition floor for the Sooners this season. Natalie Brown, Stefani Catour, Sam Craus and AJ Jackson make up this year’s talented group. Since their arrival in Norman, the Sooners have secured two NCAA Championships (2016, 2017) and a third-place finish (2015). Brown, Catour and Jackson have combined for an impressive eight NCAA All-America honors in their careers.
For the 2018 season, the Sooners are adding five talented athletes, including Florida transfer Ashley Hiller. Freshmen Jordan Draper, Evy Schoepfer, Anastasia Webb and Carly Woodard all bring extensive experience at the national level to the table and multiple strong showings at regional and state competitions.
- OU was ranked No. 1 in the NACGC/W Preseason Coaches’ Poll for the third straight season, receiving 33 of 50 first-place votes. It marked the eighth straight year the Sooners had been ranked in the top five nationally to begin the season.
- Oklahoma returns six previous NCAA All-Americans who own 16 total accolades: Natalie Brown (BB), Stefani Catour (UB, BB), Brenna Dowell (UB, FX), AJ Jackson (VT, UB, FX), Nicole Lehrmann (UB, BB), Maggie Nichols (VT, UB, FX).
- Overall, 12 of OU’s 13 regular-season opponents are ranked in the poll, including six squads slated in the top 10 nationally. (No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Denver, and No. 9 Nebraska)
- All five of OU’s regular season home matches will be televised live by Sooner Sports TV.
- The Sooners’ meets against Florida (Jan. 26) and Alabama (March 18) will air on the SECNetwork.
Next weekend, the Sooners open their home slate, welcoming Iowa State and TWU to the Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday Jan. 21. The meet is set for a 2:45 p.m. CT start and will be the annual Beauty and the Beast meet in conjunction with OU Wrestling.
Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling the OU Athletics Tickets Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.