Oklahoma competes against four teams, three nationally ranked, in Fort Worth on Saturday.
||Junior Madison Mooring
No. 2 Oklahoma is making its second trip to the Metroplex Challenge after taking first in the event in 2010. The Sooners will face four teams in their first non-dual meet of the year, including SEC foes LSU and Georgia and Pac-12 opponents Oregon State and Washington. Coming into the meet, three of the Sooners' opponents are ranked, including LSU at No. 7, Georgia at No. 9 and Oregon State at No. 16. Oklahoma is 7-9 against LSU, 4-16 vs. Georgia, 8-6 vs. Oregon State and 7-4 vs. Washington.
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENTS
No. 7 LSU (2-1)
The Tigers are coming off of a loss at Alabama after defeating North Carolina State and Florida in the first two weeks of the season at home. LSU averages a 196.158 this season and is ranked No. 3 in the nation on vault and floor. Sophomore Lloimincia Hall is No. 3 in the country on floor, averaging a 9.933. LSU returns 12 letterwinners from last season when the Tigers finished No. 9 in the country.
No. 9 Georgia (3-1)
The Gym Dogs are coming off a season-high score of 197.000 in a win over No. 10 Stanford at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia posted season-highs on vault, bars and floor and the fifth-best team score in the country this year. Oklahoma defeated Georgia in the season opener for both teams on Jan. 5, winning 196.450-195.425 in a come-from-behind victory. In the event rankings, Georgia entered the week ranked No. 5 nationally on vault (49.258) and bars (49.192) while sophomore Chelsea Davis is ranked No. 4 on bars with a 9.892 average.
No. 16 Oregon State (3-3)
The Beavers are coming off a loss at Utah last week in a meet in which OSU scored a season-high 195.950. OSU is ranked No. 10 on vault and No. 11 on floor going into this week and are averaging an overall team score of 194.975.
The Huskies defeated then-No. 17 California, Illinois-Chicago and UC Davis last weekend at home, posting a 194.800 team score. Senior Lauren Rogers took the all-around and vault titles to lead team, finishing with a 39.025 all-around score. Ranked No. 17 in the GymInfo preseason poll, Washington is currently ranked No. 24 on vault and beam.
LAST WEEKEND - No. 11 DENVER
The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team knocked off No. 11 Denver in the Sooners' home opener, defeating the Pioneers 197.325-195.850 in front of 2,389 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners registered the best score in a home opener in team history and the 10th-highest team ever by an OU squad. OU was led by a 39.550 all-around score from junior Taylor Spears. Spears posted event wins on both vault (9.900) and beam (9.925). Freshman Keeley Kmieciak registered a 9.900 to win the bar title, while freshman Haley Scaman posted a 9.925 to win floor.
STARTING WITH A BANG
OU's season opener on Jan. 5 at No. 11 Georgia was historic for the Sooners. Not only was the win OU's first against Georgia in Athens in program history, but the squad's 196.450 team score was the highest in a season opener by any Sooner team. The score was also third-highest mark of any team in the country on the season's opening weekend. Two weeks later at the Sooners' home opener at Lloyd Noble Center, OU totaled a 197.350 score against No. 11 Denver, its highest score in a home opener in program history and the 10th-highest score in OU history overall.
An OU gymnast has won the all-around in all three of the Sooners' meets this season, with junior Taylor Spears finishing on top at No. 11 Georgia and against No. 11 Denver while sophomore Erica Brewer took the title at Arizona State. Spears, a junior from Plano, Texas, scored a career-high 39.550 vs. Denver, including scores of 9.925 on beam and 9.9 on vault. After sitting out week one, Brewer won the all-around title at ASU after scoring a 39.350, tying for the bars title and winning the beam title. Both gymnasts have been named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week for their accomplishments.
Oklahoma's freshmen have been put into key spots in the lineup on big stages and have risen to the occasion this season. Haley Scaman, named Big 12 Specialist of the Week for her efforts last week against Denver, is ranked No. 8 in the nation on floor after scoring a 9.925 against the Pioneers. Scaman has scored a 9.825 or higher on six of her eight routines this season. Fellow newcomer Keeley Kmieciak has competed in the all-around in every meet for the Sooners. Against Denver, Kmieciak posted a career-high 39.350 all-around score, including a 9.9 on bars to win the event and help her earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.
After spending the first two weeks of the season on the road, Oklahoma fed off the energy of 2,389 fans to post a season-best score of 197.350 against No. 11 Denver. The team score was the highest in a home opener in program history and the 10th-highest all-time for the Sooners. The second-largest crowd in OU history saw the Sooners dominate from start to finish, scoring above a 49.000 in all four events and sweeping the individual titles. Oklahoma will next compete at home against nationally ranked UCLA on Friday, Feb. 22.
ROAD MEET? NO PROBLEM
Oklahoma moved up to the No. 3 spot in the national rankings after winning its first two meets, both on the road. The Sooners were the only team in the top 3 in the nation to compete on the road in each of the first two weeks of the season. OU won its first-ever meet in Athens against No. 11 Georgia in front of over 7,000 fans to open the season before earning its biggest margin of victory in a dual meet in four years in a win over Arizona State in Tempe.