Baylor University captured its fourth consecutive National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) National Championship with a resounding effort against an inspired and upset-driven Quinnipiac, 283.360-274.650, on Saturday, April 28 at the Hammermill Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. With the victory on Saturday, the Bears have now tied the University of Oregon for the most championships in NCATA history, completing an 11-0 unbeaten season.
In the compulsory event, Baylor struck early with a 9.850 in pyramid and a 9.925 in toss, taking a one-point lead into the second event despite a 9.950 event victory in compulsory toss by the Bobcats. A 9.925 in five-element acro kept momentum on Baylor's side, but a 9.75 event scoring average by Quinnipiac kept the Bobcats in close range despite a 29.550-29.250 acro event victory by the Bears. Baylor took a 1.6-point lead into the halftime break with a pair of 9.90 scores in inversion and open pyramid, while Quinnipiac led off the event with a 9.80 in the inversion pyramid before capping the half with a 9.750 in the open heat.
To lead off the second half, Baylor captured the first two heats to build into their lead, but Quinnipiac's open toss heat scored a 9.950 to spark the Bobcats heading into the final two heats. Baylor took firm control of the meet by scoring a 9.850 or above in each of its three solo passes, capped by a 9.95 in the open pass from senior Lauren Sturm that provided Baylor a three-point lead going into the team event. Baylor put the exclamation mark on its fourth-straight national title, outscoring Quinnipiac by over five points with a 98.410 in the team event.
Saturday's championship meet culminates a historic tournament that provided several electric moments. Eighth-seeded Converse took to the mat against Baylor in the quarterfinals, earning a tournament bid in its first season of competition. In the final meet of Quarterfinal Thursday, the hosting Gannon Golden Knights battled the Oregon Ducks in front of a passionate home crowd that filled the Hammermill Center. Quinnipiac provided the tournament with some historic flair after becoming the first No. 3 seed to earn a national championship berth with a narrow win over second-seeded Azusa Pacific.