Sooners Tabbed No. 2 in Preseason Coaches' Poll
|2019 Preseason Coaches Poll|
|1||UCLA* (20 first-place votes)||1,961|
|25||North Carolina State||704|
|* indicates 2019 opponent|
NORMAN – The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team was slated as the No. 2 team in the preseason poll, the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association announced Monday. The Sooners received 25 of 57 first place votes in the ranking, the most of any team.
The defending national champion, UCLA, was tabbed first with 1,961 points and 20 first place votes. The difference between UCLA and Oklahoma is as razor thin as the margin of victory from the 2018 NCAA Championships as the Sooners were just two points behind with 1,959. Rounding out the top five is No. 3 Florida (1,946 points), No. 4 LSU (1,891 points) and No. 5 Utah (1,783 points).
This is the ninth straight year the Sooners have been ranked in the top five nationally to begin the season and fifth consecutive time being ranked in the top two. OU was slated No. 1 in 2016, 2017 and 2018, No. 2 in 2015, No. 3 in 2014 and No. 4 in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Oklahoma has now opened 14 consecutive seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally and the last 18 years in the top 25. Since Kindler’s arrival, the Sooners have been ranked in the preseason top 10 every season.
Overall, 13 of OU’s 14 regular season opponents are ranked in the poll, including five squads in the top 10 nationally and 10 within the top 25. The Sooners will face a pair of top-five teams in No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 Florida and two top-10 teams in No. 6 Alabama and No. 7 Georgia at Lloyd Noble Center in 2019.
The Sooners will open the season at No. 12 Arkansas at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5 in Fayetteville, Ark. The first of four top-10 showdowns in the LNC will take place on Friday, Jan. 11 when No. 7 Georgia travels to Norman.
Away from home, the Sooners will face No. 9 Michigan (March 9); No. 12 Arkansas, No. 13 Denver and No. 19 Missouri at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas (Jan. 26); No. 15 Washington, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 26 George Washington at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City; No. 28 Iowa State (March 11) and No. 35 West Virginia (Feb. 24)
The Sooners return six gymnasts who combined for 13 All-America honors in seniors Brenna Dowell and Nicole Lehrmann, juniors Jade Degouveia, Maggie Nichols and Bre Showers and sophomore Anastasia Webb. Dowell and Nichols also combined for four individual national titles in 2018. In addition to the returners, the Sooners have added newcomers Karrie Thomas, Emma LaPinta, Allie Stern and Olivia Trautman.
Season tickets for the 2019 season are currently available for purchase. Tickets are available for $30 for general admission and $50 for reserved seating, which will reserve a seat location for the entire season. Youth (6-18) and senior (55+) season tickets will be $25. Discounted tickets are available for $5 for groups of 10 or more. Group tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours prior to the event. Fans can order online through SoonerSports.com or over the phone at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at 800-456-GoOU.