March 12, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 2 Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad (13-0) wrapped up an undefeated home schedule with a 196.900-195.800 victory over No. 25 Washington on "Senior Night" at Lloyd Noble on Friday night.
OU seniors won four titles on the night, none bigger than Hollie Vise's 39.600 all-around win in her first collegiate appearance competing all four events. Vise also took home individual event titles on bars (9.95) and beam (9.925), pushing her season total to 16. Fellow senior Jackie Flanery kept the senior winning ways alive with a 9.95 on floor in her eighth victory on the apparatus this season.
"I couldn't have scripted a better ending of her home career for Hollie," said fourth-year head coach K.J. Kindler. "She has made a physical and mental transformation that few would have the strength or will power to endure. Her metamorphosis has been nothing less than incredible. Her humble demeanor and sweet disposition have made her a wonderful teammate and an example that anything is possible."
The Sooners picked up team event titles on vault, bars and beam as Kindler's first group finished with a 19-1 record in regular season meets in Norman.
Just as it did in its upset of top-ranked Alabama last week, OU caught fire early with a 49.400 on vault to open the competition. The Sooners did not count a score lower than 9.85, paced by Natasha Kelley's career-high 9.925 in her first collegiate win on the apparatus. Brie Olson also matched a personal best with a 9.9 in the second straight event the St. Cloud, Minn, native has posted that score. Sara Stone added a 9.875, Vise scored a 9.85 in the first vault of her career before Mantle matched Vise's tally.
Vise received a perfect 10.00 from one member of the panel in a career-high 9.95 on bars in her eighth win in nine meets on the apparatus this season. Megan Ferguson added a 9.875, while Melanie Root tallied a 9.85 in her first routine of the year on bars. Flanery and Kelley added a pair of 9.800s to close the team scoring.
Moving to beam, Vise's win was preceded by scores of 9.9 and a 9.85, from Ferguson and Kristin Smith, respectively. It was the first routine in three days for Smith, who wasn't going to let a minor injury keep her from competing in her final meet at Lloyd Noble.
The lineup was shuffled for the first time this season as Stone posted a 9.775 in her first collegiate beam routine in place of Kayla Nowak.
OU wrapped up the win with a 49.000 on floor, despite failing to win the team event title on the apparatus for the first time this season. Vise clinched her all-around victory with a 9.875, while Flanery notched her third straight win on floor exercise.
The Sooners improved to 54-6 in the regular season under Kindler, including a 28-2 mark in Norman.
Vise became just the second all-around competitor of the season for the Sooners, joining freshman Kayla Nowak who competed all four events at Illinois.
Nine of OU's 13 victories this year have come against top-25 squads.
"We were far from perfect tonight, but a lot of that can be attributed to some shuffles in the lineup," said Kindler. "We must improve with each practice this week, as we are facing one of the top teams in the country in their own house."
Oklahoma closes its regular season slate at No. 7 Arkansas on March 19. The Sooners are 4-0 against top-10 opponents this season, including three victories over SEC foes ranked in the top 10. OU defeated the Razorbacks 196.750-196.625 on March 15, 2008, in its last visit to Fayetteville, Ark., despite a then-program-record score from Arkansas. That Sooners' squad became the only team in the NCAA to finish the regular season with an unblemished record in 2008.