By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
Even though No. 1 Baylor acrobatics & tumbling competed in a rare midweek contest, the team dominated like it has been for the last 21 meets.
The Bears kept rolling with a 283.210-273.510 win over No. 12 Frostburg State University Wednesday night in the Ferrell Center.
“It feels different in the middle of the week,” head coach Felecia Mulkey said. “They had class today; they’ll have class tomorrow. It puts you in a little bit [of a] different headspace and it tested us which I wanted it to. Mission accomplished.”
Baylor (5-0) handed Frostburg (6-1) its first loss of the season on Wednesday. Even though the Bears only dropped one heat in the 9.7-point win, Mulkey saw several instances in which the team could’ve been better.
“[It] wasn’t our best day in a lot of different things, but [the team] knew it,” Mulkey said. “I mean, we had some [perfect] 10s and stuff like that, but you never know meet-to-meet. And if it wasn’t a 10 in their mind, then that’s all that matters.”
Baylor came off a 283.305-278.910 win at then-No. 5 University of Oregon on March 8 in the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore.
In the opening event, the Bears had a Compulsory score of 38.55, highlighted by a perfect 10.0 in Toss, which was the first of the season in any Compulsory heat. Baylor continued its high scoring in the Pyramid, as it secured a 9.95.
The Bobcats put together a 37.50-point effort, with their best score coming via Toss at 9.95.
As the teams moved into the optional portion of action, the Bears had a score of 9.95 in Heat 1, 9.65 in Heat 2 and 9.75 in Heat 3 of Acro to total 29.35 on the event. Frostburg responded with a 9.7, 9.5 and 9.65, respectively, for a total amount of 28.85 points.
Heading into the Pyramid event, Baylor led 67.90 to 66.35 on the overall scoreboard.
The Bears earned their second perfect 10 of the meet in the first heat of the Pyramid event, which was the inversion heat. It marked the third time this season that the “Tower of Terror” was given the perfect score. In heat two, Baylor recorded a 9.90 and a 9.95 in heat three.
With the event amassing 29.85 points, the running total was increased to 97.75 for the green and gold. Frostburg punched in 29.70 for the event and put together a score of 96.05 going into the halftime break.
In the Toss event, the Bears’ trio of scores were 9.60, 9.70 and 9.75, respectively, to total 29.05. The Bobcats were able to produce a 9.40, 9.40 and 9.90, respectively, to total 29.20 and win Heat 3. Baylor still led 126.80 to 124.25 going into the fifth event, Tumbling.
Transitioning to the Tumbling Event, Heat 1 (duo) with senior top and tumbler Kamryn Kitchens and freshman top and tumbler Alyiah “Chibi” Thomas scored a 9.65. In the Trio Heat (Heat 2), Kitchens, sophomore tumbler Aliyah Kaloostian and sophomore tumbler and top Rakel Jeffries scored a 9.15.
The Quad Pass (Heat 3) consisted of senior base and tumbler Katie Shiffer, freshman base and tumbler Gianna Cameron, freshman top and tumbler Savanna Cecil and senior top and tumbler Emily Tobin, and they notched a 9.50. The Aerial pass from Kitchens garnered her a 9.925, while junior tumbler Kristen McCain in the 6 Element pass (Heat 5) had a 9.825.
Meanwhile, Cecil in the Open pass (Heat 6) earned a 9.95. The Bears’ total jumped up to 58.00 for the event while the Bobcats scored a 54.90. That brought the overall tally to 184.800 to 179.150 in favor of Baylor with the night’s final event to go, the Team event.
The Bears were given a score of 98.41 in the Team event, while FSU tallied a 94.36, bringing the final score to 283.210 to 273.510, Baylor.
Almost mirroring what the NCATA National Championships schedule will look like, the Bears have a quick turnaround and are back at it on Saturday. They’ll face No. 4 Quinnipiac University at 5 p.m. in the Ferrell Center.
“It’s definitely preparing us to go to the championship, having two meets in one week since we’re going to have to compete two days in a row there,” junior base Riley Chimwala said. “So, just have to take this with a grain of salt and just remember that we’re capable of doing something hard like this.”