The No. 1 Baylor acrobatics and tumbling team looks to repeat as champions as it hosts the NCATA National Championships, starting Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
Heading into the tournament as the top seed, the Lady Bears will take on No. 8 Gannon at 5 p.m.
To end things for the day, No. 4 Hawaii Pacific will battle it out against No. 5 Azusa Pacific at 7 p.m.
Semifinal action will start at 5 p.m. Monday and will be followed by the second semifinal meet at 7 p.m., which will be Baylor’s timeslot if it advances past the quarterfinals.
The winners of the two semifinal matches will face each other at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the final to determine who will be named the 2016 NCATA National Champion.
The Bears are being led by two of the best athletes in the sport.
Baylor’s team is star-studde with junior top/base Kiara Nowlin and junior base Kaelyn Cowan earning the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association Player of the Week honors this season
Nowlin has remained undefeated in her tumbling six elements pass this season, while averaging 9.946 in the tumbling events.
“I am excited for Kiara to receive the player of the week,” said head coach Felecia Mulkey. “She really delivered in a tough meet against Oregon, not only in her tumbling pass but also throughout the meet.”
The NCATA Championships begin Saturday with the individual events and will conclude around 7:30 p.m. as the individual finals take place.
The team event will start with quarterfinal action at noon on Sunday as the third-seeded Quinnipiac team takes on sixth-seeded Fairmont State team. Seeded at No. 2, Oregon will take on No. 7 Alderson-Broaddus at 2 p.m.
The Bears (7-0) finished the season undefeated as they went on to beat No. 3 Hawaii Pacific, No. 4 Quinnipiac, No. 6 Fairmont State, No. 7 Alderson Broaddus, No. 12 Adrian and two victories over No. 2 Oregon, with the most recent win coming on the road against the Ducks.
The Bears struggled in some events early on, losing the compulsory event 38.85-38.40 and the acro event, 29.35-28.90.
The Bears battled back and remained focused to win the pyramid event, 29.70-27.80 and take the lead 97.00-96.00.
Baylor came back to end on a strong note. The Bears won the team event, 98.80-97.98 and defeated the Ducks 282.025-280.180.
“We struggled a bit in the first half,” Mulkey said. “We still have some work to do there and some room for improvement. We will get back home and get to work to get ready for the national championships.”
Baylor students can get into any of the events free with their Baylor Student I.D. cards.