By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
No. 1 Baylor acrobatics and tumbling defeated No. 2 Oregon 281.35-275.475 in its home opener. The Bears improved their record to 3-0 and improved their winning streak to 33 matches.
The match started with the compulsory event, the baseline competition level for collegiate A&T. The event is split between four portions, and Baylor lost the first three but outdid the Ducks well enough in tumbling to lead after the first sixth, 37.8-37.45.
The acrobatics event followed with a Bear loss, 29.3-28.45, and the home squad barely pulled out the pyramid event with a score of 29.6-29.4. Baylor went into halftime behind Oregon, 96.15-95.85.
The Bears lost their second event of the day out of the half in the toss, 28.5-28.15. Even behind through four events, sophomore top Maddie McNamee said there was never a doubt they would pull out a win.
“Never in Coach [Felicia Mulkey]’s eyes,” McNamee said. “We knew tumbling was our strong event and we were just ready for it.”
Baylor came out strong in the fifth event, the six-heat tumbling portion. The Bears won four of the six heats, totaling 57.55-55.825, with sophomore Mercy Seay posting a 9.875, a full .15 points higher than the Ducks’ athlete, in the 6 Element pass. Head coach Felecia Mulkey said after the meet that the final two events were their strong suits coming in.
“We knew … if we could keep it on the mat and land in tumbling, we’d be good to go,” Mulkey said. “And then we knew if we could nail Team Event, we had a really good shot at winning, no matter what happened the first half.”
The Bears dominated the final portion to the tune of 99.8-95. As the final performance was going on, the athletes who weren’t on the floor were going insane as Baylor threw their highest Team Event score of the season. Seay said with the youth on the team, the Bears knew how much this meet meant to this season.
“A lot of our team are majority sophomores and freshmen,” Seay said. “So when we came into this weekend, we knew how much we had to change and all of the extra hard work that had to be put into it. It was really amazing to see such a young class of girls be able to pull it all together and just win this meet.”
Baylor will hold their next meet at 6 p.m. on March 3 in the Ferrell Center against Gannon University.