No. 1 A&T is ‘humbly confident’ going into sixth straight title defense

Baylor acrobatics and tumbling prepares to defend its sixth-straight national title on April 28 at the University of Oregon. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Baylor acrobatics and tumbling is ready to defend its national title for the sixth consecutive year. The team finished the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record and sat at No. 1 the entire season.

“I think they’re ready,” head coach Felecia Mulkey said. “Each year is a journey. I always say, ‘Turn the corner, turn the corner,’ and there are several different corners to turn. I think when we were at Oregon with that win and the experience there competing, I think we hit the homestretch. We’re in a good headspace going in.”

Heading into the championship, the Bears are ranked the No. 1 seed for the fifth time heading into the postseason. The championship will be hosted by the University of Oregon, with Baylor set to face off against No. 8 Converse University (9-3) starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in Eugene, Ore.

“We love hosting at Baylor, but it’s fun to travel,” Mulkey said. “There’s a different level of focus, a different level of bonding when you get to travel. They’re at the point where they’re just ready to get there and get started.”

Senior base Kate Puentes said the team has a “humble confidence” going into the postseason because of how much work and time they have put into improving over the course of the season.

“I think this is the most prepared we’ve felt for a national championship,” Puentes said. “We’re just super ready to go out there and show off what we’ve been doing.”

Mulkey said the team is performing well but has not yet hit its highest point and looks to do it at the most important time.

“We have not peaked yet,” Mulkey said. “We even had some uncharacteristic mistakes at Oregon with some tumbling things, but our tumbling is better than it was two weeks ago and they continue to get better and more solid … We’re right where I would like us to be headed into that first meet.”