No. 25 GymDawgs Travel To Norman To Face No. 2 Oklahoma
March 11, 2010
No. 25 Washington vs. No. 2 Oklahoma
Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center - Norman, Okla.
Friday, March 12, 5 p.m. PT
The No. 25 Washington gymnastics squad (4-9) heads to Norman, Okla., for their second-to-last regular season meet of the season, taking on the nation's No. 2 team in the University of Oklahoma (12-0), on Friday, March 12 at 2 p.m. PT. Friday's meet marks UW's seventh against a top-10 team and their third against a top-three team. The Huskies are coming off a season-high score against No. 19 Arizona, while Oklahoma is coming off their best meet of the season as well, in which they set a program record and earned the highest score in the NCAA this year with a 197.950. Following this weekend's competition, the Huskies will travel the short distance to face Seattle Pacific before the Pac-10 Championships take place in two weeks.
Free live stats are available through Oklahoma's official website, www.soonersports.com. The link can be found on GoHuskies.com via the gymnastics schedule page. A live webcast will also be available on SoonerSports.com for a small fee. Follow this link for more information: http://www.soonersports.com/ot/webcasts.html.
The Huskies were looking for a strong score in their third away meet of the season at No. 19 Arizona and they came through, recording a season high 195.675 in a narrow loss as the Wildcats edged UW in the final rotation to score 195.750. UW recorded a season high on bars and matched their season-best on beam and showed consistency across the board, recording at least a 48.850 on all four events. Hatsune Akaogi won the all-around for the third time this year with a 39.125 and several Huskies tied for event wins. Amanda Cline and Haley Bogart tied for the win on vault with 9.825s, while Lauren Rogers, Kristen Linton and Samantha Walior all tied for the win on bars with 9.850s. Walior also tied for first on beam with a 9.825.
Huskies in the Rankings
The Huskies jumped back into the rankings this week, coming in at No. 25 with a Regional Qualifying Score of 194.560. UW was not ranked the previous two weeks as they waited to compete in their third road meet to qualify for an RQS. With a season high score last Friday against Arizona, UW jumped back into the rankings and should move up even higher with a good performance against Oklahoma, which would allow the Huskies to drop their season-low score at Oregon State early in the year. The Huskies are also ranked 34th on vault, 29th on bars, 24th on beam and 28th on floor.
UW has reached a high of No. 19 this season, which they garnered after a strong opening-week performance against No. 11 Nebraska. UW opened the season in the top-25 for the first time since 2006, coming in at No. 25.
The Huskies face one of the toughest schedules in the country, competing against six teams currently in the nation's top-10 including two of the top three. UW opened with five straight meets against top-12 teams, including No. 11 Nebraska, No. 3 UCLA, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 Utah and No. 6 Stanford. After facing No. 26 ASU, UW got a one-week break from ranked opponents at home against Cal, before picking back up with the tough competition two weeks ago against No. 7 Arkansas. The Huskies finish the regular season on the road against No. 19 Arizona, No. 2 Oklahoma and Seattle Pacific.
About the Huskies
UW came into the season ranked 25th, returning eight competitors from last year's squad that finished fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, the Huskies' best finish in six years. UW also advanced to the NCAA West Regionals for the third time in head coach Joanne Bowers' three-year tenure. UW has been led by returning All-Pac-10 performer Hatsune Akaogi, who owns two all-around wins this year. Juniors Samantha Walior, a First Team All-Pac-10 pick on floor last year who has three event wins in 2010, Haley Bogart and Kristen Linton have also been solid for a very young team that has no seniors.
The Sooners are on a roll after posting the highest score in the NCAA this year and setting a new school record with a 197.950 in a win over No. 1 Alabama last week. Oklahoma's tally was the second highest score in the NCAA since Feb. 10, 2007. Only Georgia, winner of the last five national titles, has posted a higher result since the 2004 season. OU's team tally was more than a point higher than any other Big 12 squad this year.
OU is ranked in the top four on each apparatus, including the top spot in the NCAA on beam. Individually, nine Sooners are ranked in the top 25 in the latest event rankings. Hollie Vise leads the country on beam and ranks second on bars. Fellow senior Jackie Flanery stands second in the country on floor, while sophomore Sara Stone leads Oklahoma on vault with her 14th-place ranking.
About the Series
Washington and Oklahoma have met on eight previous occasions with the series record tied at four apiece. The two squads haven't competed against each other since the Huskies posted a 196.450-195.150 victory at the season-opening Cancun Classic on Jan. 2, 2004.
Coming On Strong
The Huskies have started to heat up over the last month of the season, recording their three best overall team scores, including a season-high last week at Arizona. The Huskies have also posted season bests on all four events, earning at least a 49.000 on three of the four apparatus. UW is hoping to carry that momentum over to the final two meets of the season before heading into the Pac-10 Championships.
Things started clicking for UW four weeks ago against Arizona State when they posted their first score of 195.000 or better despite a narrow loss to the Sun Devils. In that meet, the Huskies also recorded their first event scores of 49.000 or better, earning a 49.000 on vault and a 49.025 on floor, both of which are still season highs. The next week, UW topped their best team score in a win over Cal, registering a 195.625, their best since a 196.000 last season in a win over Oregon State. UW also reached season bests on bars (49.025) and beam (48.850) in the victory. The Huskies then topped themselves again last week at No. 19 Arizona, earning a 195.675 and recording their season high on bars with a 49.050.