No. 1 Baylor acro & tumbling readies for rematch of titans with No. 2 Oregon

Head coach Felecia Mulkey watches her team on the mat during No. 1 Baylor acrobatics & tumbling's meet against No. 12 Frostburg State University on March 22, in the Ferrell Center. Olivia Havre | Photographer

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Baylor’s top-ranked acrobatics and tumbling team will look to best No. 2 University of Oregon for the second time this season. The two biggest programs in the sport will clash after the Bears, the seven-time defending national champions, won by a narrow five points in the last meeting.

“I love competing against Oregon, it brings us to a different level,” head coach Felecia Mulkey said. “I have an affinity for Oregon because I [coached] there. I’m grateful they gave me that opportunity, but I like to beat them. They’re the other green and gold team, they compete at a high level that pushes us and I think they feel the same way.”

This time, the two giants will be meeting in the Ferrell Center at 5 p.m. on Saturday for the Bears’ fifth (program most for one season) and final home-meet of the season. Saturday will be Senior Night, where seven athletes will be recognized for their collegiate careers.

Among those is senior top and tumbler Kamryn Kitchens, who received the award for NCATA Athlete of the Week after scoring a perfect 10 in the last meet. Kitchens and the team are hoping for a big turnout for the “Fill the Ferrell” meet, where tickets prices are discounted for the event.

“The crowd adds so much, it makes it so much fun when everybody’s going crazy in the stands,” Kitchen said. “Tickets are only $1 for the meet this week, so we’re hoping it fills up because it really does make the atmosphere so much more fun.”

Mulkey added that “Baylor is the best place to compete, for sure.”

“The Ferrell Center, the fan engagement and everything that goes into the meets makes it really special for our student athletes,” Mulkey said. “This is the first time we’ve ever had five home-meets, I can get used to that.”

The team was recently ranked No. 1 in the NCATA Championship Poll, with Oregon on its tail at No. 2. The Bears are sitting at 6-0 and have scored over 280 points in four of their six meets, being the only program to accomplish that this season.

Mulkey is always one to focus on “peaking at the right time” and said the squad is on the right path as far as execution has been going this season.

“We’re on an upward trajectory,” Mulkey said. “We’re still working on skills and hitting the weight room. We have a lot of skills. Now, it’s about improving the execution of those skills. We still have a lot of room to improve and we’re in the right place to get there by the end of April.”