The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

No. 2 Gators' season-best not enough vs. No. 1 Sooners

199 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. - It was the season's top scoring meet, but that's exactly what is expected when the nation's top two teams meet. Tonight, it was No. 1 Oklahoma using the nation's top total of the season, 198.325, to take the win over No. 2 Florida (198.025).

Tonight's meet drew a Lloyd Noble Center record crowd of 5,082. When Florida last visited in the 2015 season, that crowd of 4,138 set the then-record. Two of the all-time Lloyd Noble Center women's gymnastics crowds have come against the Gators.

UF-OU Notes:

  • This was the nation's first meet of 2019 that both teams scored better than 198.00
  • The nation's season high was turned in for three events Friday. Oklahoma equaled Florida's 2019 uneven bars high of 49.725 and turned in the floor exercise high of 49.825. Florida's 49.60 on balance beam sets the nation's high total.
  • This was the 11th consecutive UF-OU meeting that one team brought the No. 1 ranking
  • These two teams have claimed five of the last six NCAA titles, including sharing the 2014 title. Florida won the title outright in 2013 and 2015 and Oklahoma took the 2016 and 2017 titles. In the 2018 NCAA Championships, Oklahoma was second and Florida took third.

TONIGHT'S MEET

After the meet, the Gators were buoyed by tonight's performance. It was a loss, but the Gators saw much promise in its road performance tonight. Four meets into the season and the Gators feel good about their potential.

Florida opened with another great uneven bars total of 49.60 - which stands second in the nation behind its 49.725 set last Friday. Freshman Trinity Thomas equaled her collegiate best of 9.975 for the second consecutive meet to take second overall. Sophomore Megan Skaggs equaled her collegiate-best of 9.95 to anchor the lineup.

On the next rotation, Florida lost tenths on vault landings, to post a 49.15. Freshman Savannah Schoenherr, who had a collegiate-best 9.925 on bars to open the meet, added another collegiate-best to lead Florida on vault with a 9.90. The Sooners equaled Florida's season-high bars total of 49.725, which included a 10.0 by Nicole Lehmann, to take 0.475 mid-point lead.

That lead narrowed to 0.075 after Florida posted its season-best of 49.60 on floor exercise. Florida's final two floor performers - Thomas and sophomore Alyssa Baumann - equaled their collegiate bests of 9.95. Freshman Nya Reed also equaled her collegiate high of 9.925.

Florida finished the meet on balance beam with another season-high of 49.60. Those scores couldn't keep up with Oklahoma's floor marks, as the final three Sooners all posted nearly-perfect floor marks of 9.975. Four Gators turned in beam marks of 9.90 or better. Junior Rachel Gowey posted a 9.90, Thomas and junior Amelia Hundley each had collegiate bests of 9.925. Sophomore Alyssa Baumann anchored the lineup by equaling her collegiate-best of 9.975 for the third time. The last time she posted the nearly-perfect mark won her the 2018 Southeastern Conference beam title.

OU's Olivia Trautman won the all-around (39.725), followed by teammate Anastasia Webb (39.65) and Thomas (39.625). Trautman won vault (9.95) and shared the floor win at 9.975 with teammates Jade Degouveia and Brenna Dowell. Lehrmann is the third collegiate to earn a 10.0 on bars this season. Baumann shared the balance beam title at 9.975 with OU junior and defending NCAA all-around champion Maggie Nichols.

RECORDS: Florida (3-1, 3-0 SEC), OU (8-0, 0-0 Big 12).

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 14-10-1.

HEAR FROM THE GATORS:

Thoughts on her team after tonight's meet...

"I can't put it into words how proud I am of this team tonight. I already told them in our huddle that same thing, but at that time. I could be showing it now with the chill-bumps all over. Really it was an amazing evening. This team really showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight, a lot of grit and just pure joy. They came in very relaxed. Something that we talked about this whole week is we're just competing against ourselves, we're just trying to get better. And by golly this team got better tonight. They did a really good job and we made some great strides in a lot of areas. Yeah, we left a lot out there on the floor, no pun intended. But it was a really great night. The Gators should be super proud and I'm just thrilled."- Florida coach Jenny Rowland

Overall thoughts on the meet...

"Tonight was a great night. We learned a lot tonight and it was amazing to be able come with the team and travel all the way here and still perform how we did. I think we did a really good job of keeping our energy up and really trusting one another. Of course we have a lot of improvements to make, but I think we got better tonight. It was overall a great experience with the team." - Sophomore Megan Skaggs

On how she felt about her team's performance...

"Honestly I'm so proud of this team. There were definitely some things we could work on, but I think there a lot of highs. We had little mistakes here and there but that's a good motivation for this next week and improve on coming up on these next meets. So I'm looking forward to it." - Junior Amelia Hundley

On what the team is going to work on in practice this week...

"I think vault landings is a big thing for us. As a team, I think we can do better. I think vault is our lowest event score, but we're more than capable of doing it. It's just putting the vaults we want in competition during the time when we want it." - Junior Amelia Hundley

How do you think Florida did today?

"I think Florida did really good. We took it one thing at a time and came out of the gate awesome on fire on bars. I think we ended really strong and we're really happy with how we did." -Senior Alicia Boren

On where the team stands right now...

"I think that we are where we need to be right now. Jenny [Rowland] says this all the time, it's a marathon not a sprint. It's one thing at a time. We're only in our fourth meet in which seems like a lot, but we've got a long way to go. I think we're in a good position and we have a lot to work on." -Senior Alicia Boren

Overall, how do you think Florida performed today?

"I think we did really well today, but it's definitely not our best and we can always do better." - Freshman Trinity Thomas

What areas do you think this team needs to be better?

"I think we're lacking landings on vault. Once we get those down, watch out." - Freshman Trinity Thomas

On what tonight's performance does for the team...

"Getting this score on the road against the No. 1 team, it pushes us in the right direction. We have a few things here and there, but overall just some landings and we're good to go." -Sophomore Alyssa Baumann

UP NEXT:

Next Friday, Florida returns home to play host to fan favorite Gators Link to Pink presented by UF Health on Friday, Feb. 8.