By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
The top seeded and three-time defending national champion Baylor acrobatics and tumbling team opened its championship defense with a 277.535-260.905 victory over the eighth seeded-Converse Valkyries on Thursday night. The Bears won five of the six events in their quarterfinal match at the Hammermill Center on the campus of Gannon University in Erie, Pa.
Baylor opened the meet by taking the compulsory event with a 38.15-34.225 victory over the Valkyries. The Bears continued to pad their lead by taking the acro event, 29.475-27.325.
Converse responded by edging Baylor out in the pyramid event. The Valkyries took a 29.025-28.350 win to cut into the deficit.
Baylor did not stay down long, getting right back on its feet to claim the toss event 28.750-27.125. The Bears then did most of their damage in the tumbling event. Baylor won the event, which consists of six separate events, including the duo, trio and quad passes as well as the aerial, six element and open passes.
As a result, Baylor gained nearly a full seven points on Converse heading into the team event.
In the final event, the Bears closed out the Valkyries with a 94.660-91.430 win.
Baylor (9-0) will face No. 4 Oregon at 6 p.m. CT Friday night.