Huskers Come Close, Fall to No. 1 Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Despite leading after the third rotation, the No. 12 Nebraska women’s gymnastics team fell to No. 1 Oklahoma 196.425 – 196.175, on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center at the Perfect 10 Challenge.
Through three rotations, things seemed to be going the Huskers’ way when Oklahoma counted two of three falls on beam and Nebraska counting two scores of 9.925 on bars. Oklahoma posted a comeback on floor when three Sooners hit floor scores of 9.90 or better to secure the win. The loss marks Nebraska's first of the season and snaps a five-meet winning streak as Nebraska steps back to 5-1 on the season (5-0 Big Ten) while Oklahoma improves to 6-1 on the season (1-0 Big 12).
The Sooners posted a season-low 196.425 while Nebraska hit a 196.175 without major contributor Megan Schweihofer. Stepping in for Schweihofer, Sienna Crouse won her sixth consecutive vault title on the year to stay undefeated in the event, and hit a career-high all-around score of 39.550. This was Crouse’s first all-around performance of 2018 and her first performance in over a year since she last competed on Feb. 11, 2017 against Minnesota.
Nebraska opened the competition on bars, where Taylor Houchin and Crouse hit a 9.925 to share the event title with three Sooners. Epperson scored a 9.85 to take eighth while Catelyn Orel had a 9.70. Freshmen Torri Hutchinson and Kynsee Roby hit a 9.50 and 9.025, respectively.
On vault, two sooners posted a score of 9.90 as Alex Marks and Brenna Dowell tied in second. Maggie Nichols posted a 9.875 while three other Sooners hit marks of 9.775 or better. Oklahoma posted a 49.275 on vault to lead the Huskers’ 48.900 on bars after the first rotation.
Crouse posted her event-winning score of 9.925 to stay undefeated on vault, while Grace Williams and Anika Dujakovich tied for fifth, each hitting a 9.85, a career-high for freshman Dujakovich. Freshman Megan Verceles Carr hit a career-high 9.825 and fellow freshman Makayla Curtis his a 9.75. Abbie Epperson hit a 9.775 on vault.
On bars, Oklahoma had three sooners hit a 9.925 to share the event title with Houchin and Crouse. Two other Sooners posted scores of 9.875, respectively and Nichols rounded out the group with a 9.825. Oklahoma combined for a meet-high team score of 49.525 on bars while Nebraska had a respectable 49.225 on vault. Oklahoma led Nebraska 98.800 - 98.125 with what seemed like winning margins.
The Huskers moved to floor where Williams and Crouse each posted 9.875, Sierra Hassel posted a 9.85 and Kynsee Roby hit a 9.80. Epperson hit a 9.525 while freshman Karley Hutchinson posted a 9.125.
The solid effort from Nebraska’s tough floor squad without standout performers Catelyn Orel and Schweihofer pushed Nebraska ahead of the Sooners, who counted two of three falls on beam.
Nichols led Oklahoma on beam with a 9.95 to win the event while Anastasia Webb scored a 9.85 to finish third. Oklahoma posted a team score of 48.150 on beam and Nebraska posted a 48.925 in the third rotation. Nebraska slipped ahead of Oklahoma 147.050 – 146.950 before the fourth rotation.
With such a close score, it was anyone’s meet before Oklahoma rallied with three gymnasts scoring over 9.90 on floor to win the event, and no Huskers scoring over 9.90 on beams. Williams led Nebraska with a 9.875to finish second on the event, while Hassel tied for third with a 9.85. Epperson and Crouse posted a 9.825 each to finish fifth while Danielle Breen posted a 9.75. Kynsee Roby scored a 9.675 to round out the Nebraska beam team.
For Oklahoma, Nichols secured the floor title and the victory for the Sooners as it came down to the last routine with her 9.95. AJ Jackson finished in second with a 9.925 and Webb posted a 9.90. The trio of 9.90s were Oklahoma’s lifeline in their lowest scoring meet of the season at 196.425 – 196.175.
In the all-around, Crouse finished in second with her career-high 39.550, credited to her winning-vault score of 9.925 and her career-high title-sharing score of 9.925 on uneven bars. Crouse did not score lower than 9.825 on any event on the night. Epperson scored a 38.975 on the all-around for Nebraska and OU’s Nichols’ on the event with a season-low 39.600.
Nebraska will remain home for the next two weekends, as the Huskers will face Pittsburgh on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center at 7 p.m. The following week, Nebraska will travel to Elevate the Stage 2018 in Augusta, Ga. at 6:30 p.m. to take on Illinois, Georgia and Iowa State on Friday March 2, before returnng home and hosting the Masters Classic on March 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED.
|Megan Verceles Carr||9.825|