No. 10 Beavers Make it Three in a Row, Beat No. 12 Stanford
Jan. 27, 2012
The 10th-ranked Oregon State gymnastics team knocked off No. 12 Stanford 196.800-194.525 Friday Night at Gill Coliseum. The win over Stanford is the third over a top 13 team in the first three weeks of the season. Makayla Stambaugh won the all-around with a score of 39.450.
Oregon State improved its record to 3-0 in dealing the Cardinal (4-1) their first loss of the season. The win marks the third in a row over Stanford beginning in the middle of last season. The Beavers set season-highs on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise.
The Beavers were short-handed on Friday night competing without freshman Chelsea Tang after she suffered a sprained elbow in practice on Monday. Tang, who performed in the all-around last week at Arizona, will be re-evaluated early next week and is considered week-to-week.
"We had had to do a lot of shuffling with Chelsea not being available to go into the lineup," head coach Tanya Chaplin said. "The team really rose to the occasion. We still need to keep pushing it as far as steps go, and we really need to get on the road and do the same type of beam set that we've done here at home."
Oregon State opened the meet with its best vault performance of the season scoring 48.975. Cerise Witherby got things started with the best vault of her young career scoring 9.625. Stambaugh followed boosting the progression with a 9.850. Kelsi Blalock, who struggled in the team's home opener two weeks ago, nailed her vault scoring a career-best 9.950. Leslie Mak and Brittany Harris completed the scoring in the opening rotation with scores of 9.675 and 9.875 respectively.
"Starting off with a good vault rotation is something we really, really need," Blalock said. "We've been doing a lot of vaults in the gym and the Gill crowd really got the best from us. For me, taking first place felt really good, especially coming from the two balks I had (against Oklahoma in the home opener)."
Despite missing Tang from the lineup, the Beavers held a small lead at 48.975-48.875 after the opening rotation. Tied for third in the nation on the uneven bars, OSU used one of its strongest lineups to extend the lead. Hannah Casey led off the lineup with a strong routine and a score of 9.775. Harris added a score of 9.80 and Stambaugh and Mak received matching scores of 9.875 - a season-best for Stambaugh. Closing out the bars lineup Olivia Vivian, who was ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of last season, nailed her dismount to score a season-high 9.925. At the midway point, OSU had stretched the lead over Stanford to 98.225-97.825.
The Beavers arrived at the balance beam seeking to put last week's performance on the event in the past after a rough time of it last week at Arizona included several wobbles and two falls. The Beavers responded by to the challenge by slaying the beam demons with six outstanding routines. Stambaugh and Blalock scored a pair of 9.80's to get the momentum rolling. Then Harris and Melanie Jones - both of whom fell last week - each performed their best routines of the year with season-bests of 9.875 and 9.825 respectively. Vivian added a 9.825 and Mak navigated the beam flawlessly to score 9.925. In all, the Beavers blistered the beam for a season-high on the apparatus of 49.250.
The home team held a commanding lead, of nearly a full point, entering the final rotation on the floor exercise, 147.475-146.575. Blalock led off the lineup by tying her career-best of 9.825 and Harris entertained the crowd of 3,703 with her routine to tally at 9.775. The back half of OSU's lineup, which is always strong, lit up the arena with each scoring 9.90 or better. Jones and Mak each notched scores of 9.90, a career-high for Mak, and Stambaugh tied her season-best with a 9.925. OSU finished the rotation with a floor score of 49.325.
The Beavers take each of the next two weeks, first with a trip to Seattle to face the No. 22 Washington next Friday, Feb. 3. The following week, the Beavers will travel to Northern California for a triangular meet at UC Davis along with Sacramento State on Feb. 10.
Team Scores: No. 10 Oregon State 196.800; No. 12 Stanford 194.525.