AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific led Wednesday’s triangular meet with Fairmont State and Quinnipiac through each of the first five events, but the Cougars couldn’t hold off both foes in the team event as Quinnipiac won all three second-half events and finished with 266.990 points to rally to a pair of wins. Azusa Pacific scored 263.555 points stayed in front of Fairmont State's 260.695 to pick up its first win of the season.
The Cougars won each of the first two events to build a lead of 1.65 points over Quinnipiac, whose comeback actually started in the final event of the first half, the three-heat pyramid event. The Bobcats chipped nearly half a point away in the event, winning all three heats to shrink Azusa Pacific’s lead down to 1.20 points at halftime. The Cougars’ 91.50-point halftime total was its lowest of the season, but they still outscored both Quinnipiac (90.30) and Fairmont State (89.80) in the half.
Azusa Pacific won two of the three toss event heats in the first event after halftime, although Quinnipiac knocked the lead down by another two-tenths to sit just one full point down heading into the final two events. The Bobcats chopped that margin in half in tumbling, winning five of the six heats to trail by less than a half-point (0.48) heading into a team event worth 110 total points.
“I was a little bit disappointed in our tumbling scores because I felt we could do better than that, but our toss event was one of the best we’ve ever put together,” Azusa Pacific head coach Colleen Kausrud said. “There were some things that we did really well that we hadn’t done so well in the past, and that was our group tumbling, but our solo passes were hit-and-miss. Going into the team event I would have liked a little bit more of a cushion, but I still liked where we stood at that point.”
Quinnipiac closed out the meet by winning its fourth straight event, claiming the top team score with a 94.74. Fairmont State tallied 92.52 despite having the lowest starting difficulty value among the three teams, while Azusa Pacific posted a 90.83, its lowest score in the team event this year.
“We have to do better in our team routine,” Kausrud said. “There’s really no excuse for why we just aren’t performing it well, so improvement there will have to be our focus in the coming weeks.”
Fairmont State started the meet tied with Azusa Pacific in the compulsory event with 36.55 points, but the Falcons fell off the pace with the lowest scores in each of the next four events before registering second in the team event with a score of 92.52.
The Cougars have two regular-season meets remaining, an April 2 visit to Oregon before hosting Baylor in the final regular-season meet on April 11.
“I think we’re capable of beating anybody,” Kausrud said. “If you look at start values, we’re pretty even with everybody except Oregon, but they can make mistakes, too. I think if we can get together as a team, we’re going to do really well.”
Azusa Pacific is now 1-3 on the year, while Fairmont State falls to 1-3. Quinnipiac picks up two wins with the tri-meet victory, and the Bobcats are now 3-1 on the season.