No. 1 A&T takes down No. 8 Converse

Story by Kaitlyn DeHaven | Digital Managing Editor, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Sports Director

Baylor acrobatics and tumbling defeated the Converse Valkyries 284.735 to 270.415 Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center, bringing its record to 6-0. This is the third time Baylor has competed against Converse, and the first time this season.

It was an interesting match for Converse head coach Keegan Johnson, as she was a four-year member of the Baylor acrobatics and tumbling team. In addition, she served as the clinic coach for Baylor acrobatics and tumbling. This was Converse’s first time to compete against Baylor in the Ferrell Center.

Baylor head coach Felicia Mulkey said it was really good to have Johnson back on her old stomping grounds, and she’s impressed by how well the Valkyrie team is doing since it’s only their second year.

“It’s always good to have a Bear come back home,” Mulkey said. “This is only their second year and they look like they’ve been established for a few years. She’s doing an amazing job.”

The Bears took on the competition in stride as they scored higher than Converse in each of the events. Although they still took away a higher score in the acro heats, their score was uncharacteristically low. Mulkey said the team is going to try to make sure that score, 29.25, is their worst acro score of the season.

Senior Hope Bravo had a great aerial pass Tuesday night and scored a 9.950. She said that she had a bit of trouble with the pass in the warm-up before the match, but luckily was able to pull through during the actual tumbling event.

“Coach Fee and the coaches always tell us that the warm-ups don’t define how we’re going to do out on the mat when we compete,” Bravo said. “That’s so important. I take that to heart.”

Directly following that, Kaylee Adams scored an impressive 9.975 with a six element pass she had never completed before. Mulkey said that she had completed the pass a few different times in practice, and so they decided to let her try it in this competition, and Adams did not disappoint.

While the team is undefeated this season, Mulkey said that even if they get the win on paper, if they don’t execute well then it’s a personal loss. Senior Ceara Gray reiterated this point and said it’s important for them to keep raising the bar, no matter what the score sheet says.

“We go out there and we never settle,” Gray said. “That’s our biggest motto is never settling. We have to keep raising the standard and raising the bar not only for this team but for the NCATA, because hopefully it will be an emerging sport.”

The team plans to take those goals to their next match, which is in Arizona later this week. Mulkey said that there aren’t any major changes planned for this upcoming match, but fans should expect to see a few bigger changes when they return from Arizona.

“We’re going to try to rest our little bodies between now and [Friday], get another win on the road we hope and then come back against Oregon,” Mulkey said.