ATHENS, Ga. – No. 4 Oklahoma came from behind to open the season with a 196.450-195.425 win at No. 11 Georgia on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum.
The win was OU’s first victory in Athens against the Gym Dogs and the Sooners’ first road win in a season opener since 2001. Down .400 after two rotations and .125 after the third, OU finished strong on floor and beam to close out the meet on top.
“It’s not over until that last beam routine is over,” OU head coach K.J. Kindler said. “We know that. We have fighters on our team and they fought, fought, fought until the end of the meet.”
Junior Taylor Spears placed first in the all-around with a 39.375, the fourth all-around title in her career. Freshman Haley Scaman won the floor title with a 9.875 while Scaman, Spears and Olson tied for the high score on bars at 9.875 apiece.
“I think what shows you that your team is strong is that they can make adjustments and still come out with a win in a place like this with unbelievable fans, huge attendance, and a great atmosphere,” Kindler said. “I was really proud of our team for making those adjustments and doing it confidently.”
Following two rotations, OU trailed the Gym Dogs 98.450 to 98.050 before rallying to cut into Georgia’s lead with a 49.200 on floor. Freshman Haley Scaman led the Sooners with a 9.875 while junior Madison Mooring tied a career-high with a 9.85, a score equaled by Brie Olson and Taylor Spears.
“I thought our floor routine was our best outing in our first meet of the year ever,” Kindler said. “I’ve never seen our floor team as prepared and as sharp as they were [Saturday] in our first meet of the year.”
Down just .125 with the beam remaining, the Sooners came through behind a 9.875 score from Spears. Olson added a 9.850 as did freshman Keeley Kmieciak.
Kmieciak joined fellow newcomer Scaman competing for the first time as Sooners, giving OU a strong punch in its first collegiate experience. Kmieciak also added a 9.85 vault score, a team best on the day.
“I was incredibly impressed with our freshmen’s efforts,” Kindler said. “I think they showed a lot [Saturday], a lot of bright light. I’m very excited about the future of the freshmen on our team.”
The Sooners led off the season on bars with a 9.725 score from Becca Clark, in her first action back from an ACL injury last season. Scaman, Olson and Spears led OU, registering 9.875 scores.
Kmieciak came back from a fall on bars to post a team-high score of 9.85 on vault for the Sooners. Mooring and Scaman followed with scores of 9.8 each.