#15 Illinois Drops Road Dual Meet to #2 Oklahoma
Feb. 28, 2014
NORMAN, Okla. - The 15th-ranked Illinois women's gymnastics team squared off against last year's NCAA Championships runner-up in No. 2 Oklahoma Friday night inside the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. The Sooners prevailed with a 197.250-195.850 win over the Illini. Senior Amber See and freshman Erin Buchanan highlighted the individual performances tonight, each achieving two top-five finishes.
"Overall, I think this is a meet that we will learn from," said Illinois head coach Kim Landrus. "There were a lot of positives, but unfortunately we gave away tenths on little things and we need to correct that if we are going to accomplish our goals. Going up against the No. 2 team in the country is an opportunity and I definitely think the girls embraced that."
The Illini got off to a slow start on the uneven bars where they scored a 48.775. Sarah Fiedler delivered a second place 9.825 performance to lead the Orange and Blue on the event. It marked the third straight meet that Fiedler scored higher than a 9.800 on bars. Fresh off her Illini debut last weekend, freshman Mary Jane Horth was next with a 9.775. In addition, Jordan Naleway, Giana O'Connor and Liz McNabb all contributed a 9.725 each.
The Orange and Blue fought back in the second rotation, scoring the second highest vault total of the season with a 49.050. See continued her streak of not scoring below a 9.8 this season with a 9.875, good for third place. A duo of freshmen followed right behind as Buchanan tallied a 9.850 while Emily Lennon achieved a 9.825.
Illinois moved to floor next where they tallied a 49.100, marking their fourth straight meet with a floor score above 49. See (9.875) and Buchanan (9.850) finished in third and fourth place respectively and recorded identical scores to what they received on vault. O'Connor bounced back from a 9.175 last Sunday on floor with a 9.825 tonight. Lastly, Fiedler and Kelsi Eberly rounded out the scoring, each with a 9.775.
The Fighting Illini ended its night by posting a 48.925 on the balance beam. The Orange and Blue were led by the trio of O'Connor, See and Lennon, who all scored a 9.800. Sarah Fiedler capped her night with a 9.775 on beam to finish with an all-around score of 39.100.
However, Fiedler was topped in the all-around by fellow teammate O'Connor, who recorded a 39.125. O'Connor won her third all-around title of the season with her fourth score above 39 this year.
Next up for the Illini is the fan favorite event Gym Jam. The joint meet with the Illinois men's squad is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, at 4 p.m. CT. The Illini will also celebrate Senior Day for it marks the last home meet of the season.