Competition in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) continues on Saturday, Feb. 11, with three meets set to take place over the weekend. Fairmont State opens its season on Saturday, while King, Alderson Broaddus, Quinnipiac and Baylor kick off their 2017 campaigns on Sunday, Feb. 12.
The Falcons return to the mat after qualifying for the NCATA tournament last season, and enter the season ranked sixth in the NCATA Preseason Coaches' Poll. Returning three seniors, seven juniors and 15 sophomores, Fairmont State will travel to Glenville, West Virginia to meet the Pioneers, who enter their second season of full competition under the leadership of new head coach Amanda McGill. Glenville State will compete for the second consecutive weekend, finishing second at the Gannon tri-meet on Feb. 4.
King University coach Megan Bamford will lead the Tornado in Phillipi, West Virginia to battle Jacqueline Eshleman and the Alderson Broadus Battlers. Alderson Broaddus, voted seventh in the preseason poll, went 4-5 last season and claimed an individual event national championship in the open toss, and return senior and two-time NCATA All-American Alia Nolan. Voted ninth in the NCATA Preseason Coaches' Poll, King returns 2016 NCATA All-American Sonia Stone, and return 23 letter winners, beginning the season with three road meets.
The meet between Alderson Broaddus and King will also have historical significance, becoming the first contest to take place in the newly formed Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Joined by Quinnipiac and Gannon, Alderson Broaddus and King will kick off an exciting inaugural season for the ECAC Acrobatics & Tumbling conference.
Two-time reigning NCATA national champion Baylor opens the year on Sunday against Quinnipiac, a 2016 NCATA semifinalist coached by the 2016 NCATA Coach of the Year, Mary Ann Powers. Baylor, the top-ranked team in the preseason coaches' poll, return 28 letter winners from last year's championship squad, while head coach Felecia Mulkey adds 13 newcomers to the roster. Quinnipiac returns 2016 NCATA All-American Allee Tallman, hoping to improve upon an all-time best 7-3 record which saw the Bobcats advance to the NCATA Tournament Semifinal in program history.