Just one 12 months in the past, the No. 1 Sooners landed on the dropping stop of an complete thriller versus the No. 5 Florida Gators, 198.125-198.150. There, in Gainesville, Florida, the Sooners sat and watched as the Gators edged out a past-moment victory. For the Sooners, just about every single emotion, just about every ounce of despair from that satisfy is even now intact one particular 12 months afterwards.
And now they’ll have a probability at redemption versus No. 2 Florida Friday evening in Norman.
Last 7 days, Florida recorded a year-most effective 197.675 score to defeat Kentucky and inch forward of UCLA to gain the No. 2 position in the region, location the phase for their showdown on Friday with the leading-rated Sooners.
This Oklahoma squad has found no scarcity of achievement — two nationwide championships and a second-location finish in the past 3 many years — but this is much more than just a further satisfy. Moreover preventing to safeguard their No. 1 position, the Sooners are hunting to redeem by themselves.
This staff may perhaps be loaded with championship practical experience, but when it will come time to avenge a heartbreaking reduction, even these Sooners are vulnerable to nerves.
“Yeah, of system we’re gonna have some nerves, but I think nerves are great,” said sophomore Anastasia Webb. “As some of our coaches say, ‘If you’re not anxious or you don’t have those people butterflies, then you don’t seriously treatment.’ So I think it’s seriously crucial to get those people nerves.”
Webb was the star for the Sooners past 7 days in the Metroplex Challenge, earning her to start with vocation all-all around title with a score of 39.550. Earlier this 7 days, she was also named Massive 12 Gymnast of the Week for her clearly show-stopping efficiency. Even as a sophomore, Webb is obviously displaying all the poise and enthusiasm that mentor K.J. Kindler’s Sooners are known for.
“I sense like a great deal of the girls have much more determination and a great deal much more fight to perfect all our expertise and adhere all our dismounts and be much more productive,” Webb said. “If we just do what we typically do I think we have a great shot.”
Webb is not the only Sooner who is coming off a large 7 days. Junior Maggie Nichols obtained the NCAA Inspiration Award at the NCAA Honors Celebration in Orlando past 7 days for her function in speaking out versus previous Usa gymnastics staff physician Larry Nassar.
“Receiving the award was this sort of an honor,” Nichols said. “Acquiring that phone and currently being advised I received that award was just so thrilling.”
Getting no time to rejoice, Nichols also performed a large function in the Sooners’ to start with-location finish at the Metroplex Challenge on Saturday. She posted staff-highs of 9.925 on bars and 9.975 on beam en route to currently being named Massive 12 Occasion Professional of the Week. Significantly like Webb, Nichols can sense a certain depth from her teammates suitable now.
“It’s seriously thrilling for the reason that it’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 in this article at house. We’ve all been seriously centered on performance and hitting just about every regimen as flawlessly as we can, hitting just about every handstand, sticking just about every landing. We’re just building all the things a very little bit superior than it was the 7 days right before,” Nichols said. “I think we’re all just tremendous enthusiastic for this weekend. It exhibits in the health and fitness center. All people is thrilled to get superior and make each change much more perfect. There’s unquestionably depth in a great way”
Enthusiasm may perhaps not normally occur straightforward for a dominant staff like Oklahoma, but this 7 days is the exception. It ought to be straightforward for the Sooners to appear forward to UCLA in March or the NCAA Championships in April, but this 7 days, none of that matters. For this staff, there is a different tension in the air suitable now. These gamers are laser-centered on just one particular issue: beating Florida.
Oklahoma will get its probability to choose down the Gators at 6:45 p.m. Friday evening at the Lloyd Noble Center.