NCATA Day One Recap: Three Top Seeds Advance, Azusa Pacific Inspired by Home Crowd in Comeback Win

NCATA Day One Recap: Three Top Seeds Advance, Azusa Pacific Inspired by Home Crowd in Comeback Win

An electric first day of competition saw four National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) semifinal berths determined at the Felix Event Center in Azusa, California. The top three seeds of the NCATA Tournament; Oregon, Baylor and Quinnipiac advanced, while fifth-seeded Azusa Pacific utilized the home court advantage, edging fourth-seeded Hawaii Pacific for the final semifinal spot.

No. 3 Quinnipiac def. No. 6 Alderson Broaddus, 270.645-264.755

Quinnipiac Press Conference l Alderson Broaddus Press Conference

Alderson Broaddus controlled the pace in the opening two events, but the Bobcats began to make their comeback by scoring a perfect 10, the only perfect score of the afternoon, in the open pyramid heat after a drop in the synchro pyramid. Quinnipiac won toss by 1.15 points to cut into the Battlers' lead before an 9.325 and 9.475 in the six-element and open pass, respectively, gave the Bobcats a 0.25 lead heading into the team event. Quinnipiac scored a 95.07 in the team event to clinch the win. The Battlers opened the afternoon with a 38.20 in compulsory, scoring all three acro and pyramid heats above the 9.55 mark to continue their strong start.

 

No. 2 Baylor def. No. 7 Gannon, 276.275-254.910

Baylor Press Conference l Gannon Press Conference

Baylor enters the tournament with an impressive slew of heats, entering the weekend with a resume boasting an overall starting value of 299.800, a marginal 0.2 points away from the maximum value. The Bears logged seven heats scoring 9.80 or higher, anchored by a pair of 9.90s in the five- and six-element acro. Senior Kiara Nowlin recorded a 9.875 in the open pass, preceded by a 9.800 in the six-element by junior Lauren Sturm and a 9.70 in the aerial from Sophomore Kaylee Adams. Gannon's six-element acro heat scored a 9.85 to propel the Golden Knights to a 29.05 overall heat score, while the open pyramid heat logged a 9.70. Freshman Breanna Schuler posted a 9.325 in the open pass to close the tumbling event for Gannon.

No. 1 Oregon def. No. 8 King, 278.800-257.260

Oregon Press Conference l King Press Conference

The top-seeded Ducks attacked their heats early, posting a 9.75 in compulsory pyramid and a 9.90 in compulsory toss. King's 9.75 in the six-element acro heat helped propel the Tornado to a 28.55 in the event, while Oregon scored all three acro heats above 9.70 to increase its lead. The Ducks would score seven consecutive heats of 9.70 or above from acro to toss before a 56.050 event score in tumbling, anchored by a 9.825 by junior Reagan Trussell. Oregon finished the afternoon with a 97.05 in the team event. King's pyramid contingent impressed with a 28.90 event score, which included a 9.75 in the open heat.

 

No. 5 Azusa Pacific def. No. 4 Hawaii Pacific, 272.735-271.095 

Azusa Pacific Press Conference

The final meet of the evening was an exciting affair between Azusa Pacific and Hawaii Pacific, as the Cougars managed a second half comeback to edge the Sharks by 1.64 points after trailing by 2.35 points at halftime. The tumbling event began to tip the scales to Azusa Pacific, marked by a 9.850 by junior Ashleigh Pitts in the aerial pass and a 9.725 from sophomore Heather Hovander in the open, and the Cougars clinched the win with a 95.11 in the team event. Hawaii Pacific scored a 29.75 in acro, a 29.50 in pyramid and a 28.40 in toss with an overall start value of 29.50. Shark junior Daisha Paulino and freshman Makayla Garland kept the Azusa Pacific rally at bay with respective scores of 9.825 and 9.875 in the six-element and open pass.