March 10, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -
Coming off an outstanding Pac-12 tri-meet victory over No. 10 Oregon State and California on March 1, the ninth-ranked Stanford women's gymnastics team looked to carry its momentum into Sunday's matchup against No. 2 Oklahoma and North Carolina.
Stanford (11-4) received standout performances from multiple gymnasts - including Ashley Morgan who claimed her fifth all-around victory on the year - but was unable to top Oklahoma (19-0), falling to the Sooners, 197.525-196.000. The Cardinal finished second overall, outscoring the University of North Carolina (5-7) which totaled 195.300.
Oklahoma showed why it is the second-ranked team in the country, claiming the highest team scores in each event and claiming every individual title except for the all-around.
Stanford was forced to overcome minor errors and missed routines at different points throughout the competition, but head coach Kristen Smyth was happy with how her team covered for each other and responded with solid performances.
The Cardinal began the competition on beam and was led by Ivana Hong who earned a 9.875 to place third. She was followed by Amanda Spinner who tallied a 9.800.
Senior Ashley Morgan led the way for Stanford on floor as she continued to provide consistency and strong routines for the Cardinal. Morgan finished tied for second with Oklahoma's Taylor Spears, scoring a 9.900 en route to earning the meet's highest all-around score of 39.325.
Junior Shona Morgan and freshman Taylor Rice tied for Stanford's second-highest scores on floor, posting 9.800s. Morgan had a strong meet, earning another 9.800 on bars and a 9.775 on beam.
Smyth was happy with Rice's performance and has enjoyed watching the freshman's weekly progress.
"Taylor had a dynamite meet," Smyth said. "She's improving every week, which is exciting to see."
Nicole Dayton provided the top score for Stanford on vault after absolutely sticking her landing and earning a 9.900 to finish second overall. Ashley Morgan and Rice followed with scores of 9.850 and 9.825.
Stanford concluded the meet on bars with Ivana Hong finishing fourth with a 9.875 and sophomore Alex Archer tying her career-high of 9.825.
The Cardinal will have a two week break before it heads to Corvallis, Ore. for the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, March 23.