HAMDEN, Conn. -- A costly mistake in one of Azusa Pacific’s strongest events cost the No. 3-seeded Cougars valuable points in a five-point defeat to second-seeded Quinnipiac in the semifinals of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association national championships.
In the third heat of the pyramid event, Azusa Pacific was ruled to have missed a required skill in the “release” heat, costing the Cougars a reduction from their starting value as well as a penalty that left them with just 7.95 points in a heat which it average 9.55 points throughout the season. That took Quinnipiac’s lead from .37 points into a gap of more than two full points heading into halftime.
After reclaiming five-hundredths of a point by winning the toss event, Quinnipiac posted 55.8 points to the Cougars’ 54.43 in Tumbling to take a lead of 3.5 points into the Team event. The Bobcats tallied 97.41 points and Azusa Pacific registered 95.82 in the Team event, resulting in the final margin of over five points.
With the loss, the Cougars finish the season with a final overall record of 2-5.
In Thursday’s individual event finals, Azusa Pacific shared the win in the twisting heat of the Pyramid event, scoring 9.85 along with Quinnipiac and Oregon. The Cougars finished second in four other heats: Acro 5 Element heat (9.1), Acro 6 Element Heat (9.3), Pyramid Flipping heat (9.75), and Toss Open heat (9.6).
Head Coach Colleen Kausrud was named the 2013 NCATA Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to regular-season wins over Baylor and Fairmont State with an average meet score of 269.68 on the year. Junior Nicole Shook was one of 10 athletes named as 2013 NCATA All-Americans.