No. 4 Alabama closes regular season with upset of top-ranked Oklahoma
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 4 Alabama closed out its regular season with a 197.525-196.900 win against No. 1 Oklahoma in front of 11,776 fans in Coleman Coliseum. It was the Crimson Tide's fifth consecutive 197-plus score.
"I thought that we did a great job in a lot of different areas, but there is still a lot of room for improvement," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "Our fans were incredible again [Friday] and I think our ladies rose to the occasion."
Alabama got things off to a strong start, tying its season-best score on the vault, going 49.525 behind 9.95s from sophomore Kayla Williams and freshman Lauren Beers. It was a career-best score for Beers.
Senior Ashley Sledge used a career-best 9.95 to pace Alabama to a season-best 49.425 on the uneven bars to keep things rolling for the Tide.
"Sledge's bar routine was phenomenal," Patterson said. "She set the tone for the night. I think good judges reward you whether you are first or sixth in the lineup and I think they recognized what an awesome bar routine that was."
Junior Kim Jacob scored a 9.9 on the balance beam to pace the Tide to a 49.150 team score. Alabama closed out the night on the floor exercise with a 49.425, led by 9.9s from Beers and Jacob. It was Jacob's ninth consecutive 9.9 or better floor exercise score of the season.
Both before and after the meet Alabama honored seniors Becca Alexin, Marissa Gutierrez, Ashley Priess and Sledge in their last regular-season home meet. Alexin, Gutierrez and Sledge have never lost a home meet during their four years, while Priess, a fifth-year senior, has lost just once in the Coliseum.
"[Friday] was huge for us, especially going into the SECs," Sledge said. "Oklahoma came in undefeated. Every team that they have competed against has lost. For us to beat this No. 1 team -- we are over the moon right now."
After Friday night's win, Alabama has posted 34 consecutive home wins, a streak that includes a 24-0-0 regular season mark and a 10-0-0 record as host of the 2009 and 2011 NCAA regional championships. The Tide's last home loss came mid-way through the 2009 season.