The 2018 National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) season is officially underway after a weekend stacked with four meets over three days. Featuring teams ranked in the top three of the NCATA Preseason Coaches' Poll, last weekend's action is a solid opening look at what is likely to be one of the most competitive seasons that the sport has seen over its first eight seasons.
Gannon 273.195, Concordia University Wisconsin 230.530
The Golden Knights only left 14.83 points on the mat in a convincing, season-opening victory on Saturday. Gannon turned a nine-point halftime lead into a 43-point victory with a 97.57 in the team event with a starting value of 103.62. Overall, Gannon posted four heats scoring 9.75 or above, highlighted by a 9.90 in the inversion pyramid heat. Concordia University Wisconsin logged a 26.60 in the pyramid event, using a 9.00 and 9.10 in the inversion and synchronized pyramid, respectively, to only drop three points off the event starting value to close the first half.
Baylor 267.435, Alderson Broaddus 251.360
The three-time reigning NCATA Tournament Champions opened the season with a 267.435-251.360 win over an Alderson Broaddus team that raised several eyebrows under the leadership of first year head coach Brandi Hanford. The Battlers took an event from the Bears with a 28.35 in pyramid before Baylor closed the meet with convincing victories in tumbling and team event to earn the season-opening victory.
Alderson Broaddus only suffered 4.2 deduction points between the acro, pyramid and toss heats, scoring above a 9.00 in eight of nine heats while logging a meet-high 9.80 in the six-element acro. Baylor widened a slim lead in the tumbling event, using an event start value of 59.80 to score a 51.725. The Bears were anchored by an aerial, six-element and open pass that all scored above the 9.00 mark, jumpstarted by a 9.725 in the aerial pass by senior Lauren Sturm.
Oregon 267.980, Concordia University of Wisconsin 225.305
Concordia University Wisconsin posted improvements in pyramid and tumbling, but seven heats above a 9.75 led the Oregon Ducks past the Falcons, 267.890-225.305. Oregon was anchored by a stellar run in acro and pyramid to end the first half, only leaving 0.50 points on the mat in acro and 0.90 points in pyramid to take a near 15-point lead into the break. Concordia University Wisconsin also improved in pyramid, scoring 27.95 for its highest three-heat event score this season.
A 9.675 in the open pass from senior Karen Avery capped a seven-point win in tumbling before the Ducks capped the victory in the team event. The Falcons added back-to-back 9.35 scores in the inversion and synchronized pyramid, the second-highest individual heat point total through their first two meets of the year.
West Virginia Wesleyan 238.090, Davis & Elkins 128.450
In a historic meet pitting two inaugural programs against each other, Davis & Elkins hosted its first meet in history against West Virginia Wesleyan, facing a Bobcat squad that captured its first win in program history in their first ever competitive meet. Under the leadership of head coach Courtney Pate, the Bobcats won all five events and kicked off their first season with a 9.70 in the compulsory pyramid. West Virginia Wesleyan would add a 26.20 in the pyramid event, only leaving 2.90 points on the mat. Davis & Elkins scored a 9.10 in the inversion pyramid heat for its highest score of the meet. Head coach Shelby Armstrong and the Senators logged a meet-high 21.55 in the acro heat.