By Thomas Mott | Reporter
The Baylor Acrobatics and Tumbling team started their 2017 season with a win against third-ranked Quinnipiac in the Ferrell Center with a score of 281.11-272.70
The Bears jumped out to an early lead taking the compulsory event 38.40-37.75. The girls scored their first perfect 10 of the season in this event.
“I think it was a good first meet. Definitely tons of room for improvement. I think it’s good to get that first win under your belt,” Acrobatics and Tumbling Head Coach Felecia Mulkey said.
Baylor entered the season riding a 21 meet winning streak with the hopes of capturing their third straight national championship.
The Bears started to look nervous as they struggled in the acro round failing to hold their first acro tower. Quinnipiac jumped on the Bear’s early mistake taking the acro round 28.95-28.30, which put both teams tied at 66.70 going into the pyramid round, the final event before halftime.
“Our acro event at practice was flawless. Acro is something that if we execute we can really pull ahead,” said Mulkey.
Baylor regrouped and ignited the Ferrell Center crowd with a strong performance during the pyramid round winning 29.50-27.90 and taking a narrow 96.20-94.60 lead going into halftime
With the majority of the team returning for the 2017 season and the clear number one ranking attached to their name, the Bears seem primed for another title run.
Quinnipiac cut into the Baylor lead after halftime taking the toss event 28.80-29.00. Baylor’s lead was then only 125.00-123.60 going into the tumbling round.
Senior standout Kaelyn Cowan liked the team’s performance but noticed that there are still some things to improve on going forward
“First meet, you know nerves are in there. We can go back and fix those things,” said Cowan.
A strength for the Bears last year, the tumbling round continued to be a bright spot for the team as they won the round 57.30-55.50 — extending their lead to 182.30-179.10 as they headed into the final round.
“We just really think about one meet at a time… Just kind of try to walk off the mat every time satisfied with that particular heat,” Mulkey said
The team round, which lasts a total of 2 minutes and 30 seconds, combines every element from the previous rounds into one giant routine. The Bears electrified the crowd as they looked sharper and more in sync. They capped off a strong performance, taking the team round 98.81-93.60 and winning the meet 281.11-272.70
“I love the fact that we won and I love the fact that we have some room for improvement now,” Mulkey said.
Going forward the Bears will now face a tough test when they take on the Oregon Ducks, Coach Mulkey’s former team.
“It’s always fun to go to Oregon. They are a fantastic team. Lot of connection there. It’s fun to compete against Oregon,” Mulkey said.
The Bears will now travel to take on their rivals, the Ducks, at 5 p.m. Feb. 25 in Eugene, Oregon.