AZUSA, Calif. -- Despite Azusa Pacific posting its overall highest score of the year, No. 5-ranked Baylor University took downed the Cougars after scoring a National Collegiate Acrobatic and Tumbling Association (NCATA) season high in the final event, which became the deciding factor in this meet as well.
Although the Cougars' score of 278.85 wasn’t enough to surpass Baylor’s 281.86, which has the highest Starting Difficulty Value (SDV) in the entire NCATA during its meets, Azusa Pacific's overall scores have improved by at least a full point in each of the season’s 5 meetings.
The Cougars, who started the meet down after Baylor took the 5-heat Compulsory event and the 3-heat Stunt event, rallied back in the Pyramid event to take back a one point margin over the Bears. The Pyramid event has been one of Azusa Pacific’s strongest, never posting below a 28.3, and scoring a 29.975 last week in Waco, Texas, to set a NCATA season record.
Continuing the success it produced just before halftime, Azusa Pacific won the 3 heat basket toss lead by flyers Caitlin Borstelman, Melanie Aberin, Katie Hearndon, and Cortnee Miller.
Azusa Pacific’s tumbling, which has been an Achilles Heel in past meets, improved significantly in today’s meet, with the Cougars posting a 50.80 out of a starting value of 52.75.
“Although it wasn’t our best meet of the year, the tumbling was a lot better,” said Azusa Pacific Head Coach Colleen Kausrud. “The Individual events, which are usually our weak spot, improved significantly. We increased our SDVs and to come back and beat them in those heats was huge.”
Going into the team event, Baylor’s lead was only .2 of a point over the Cougars. Azusa Pacific’s team event proved a tad unsteady from the very beginning to the end with miscues from the music, to near falls in stunts and tumbling elements. The Cougars posted a103.08 out of 106.48, which was the highest SDV of the year in that event. Baylor however, tallied a 106.29 out of an especially high difficulty value 108.70, 3 points higher than Azusa Pacific’s and thus rallied to nip the Cougars in the final overall score.
Azusa Pacific now begins to prepare for the final step of the season, the NACTA National Championship. The tournament will be hosted by the University of Oregon from April 7-9 in the Matthew Knight Arena. Kausrud talked a little about Nationals after the meet Saturday.
“There’s going to be some big changes. We have to streamline everything and bump up our start value in the team routine which is our ultimate goal right now. Other than that, getting our people healthy again is important, having 2 of our top tumblers out today hurt us a lot.”
With the loss, Azusa Pacific’s record drops to 3-4 on the season while Baylor improves to 2-4. The Cougars will have to wait and see what happens with their seeding for the National Championship, as 4 other meets are scheduled for teams around the NCATA.
To learn more about the NCATA National Championships, visit NCATA National Championships