No. 3 Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling falls to No. 2 Oregon
No. 3 Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling lost a neck-and-neck contest against No. 2 Oregon on Sunday at TD Bank Sports Center by a final score of 284.265-274.945.
While the Bobcats lost the matchup, this meet was bigger than just a game.
Quinnipiac honored its late assistant coach of six seasons, Manny Bonilla, who passed away earlier in the month after a long battle with cancer. Fans and athletes alike sported blue “Manny Strong” shirts throughout the meet in memoriam and support.
“I’m just proud of them,” Quinnipiac head coach Mary Ann Powers said. “They’ve gone through a lot in the past few weeks and they’ve hung on. It’s a young team and I feel like we’re just starting to feel the wind beneath [our] wings.”
In the Compulsory event, the Bobcats kept it close by winning both the Pyramid and Tumbling heats, but it was the Ducks who ran away with a 38.90-38.85 advantage.
The next event, Acro, also saw a close score (67.95-67.800) through three heats. Oregon won the 6 and 7 element heats while Quinnipiac took the 5 element heat by a score of 9.70 – 9.45.
Next up was the Pyramid event. The two teams tied in the first heat, but Quinnipiac was able to win the remaining two heats to take the lead into halftime, 97.15-96.85.
After the break, close action returned in the Toss event where each of the three heats had a different result. The first heat belonged to Quinnipiac, the second was a tie and the third heat was won by Oregon making for a 29.20-29.20 tie in the event.
Quinnipiac junior base Jenna Adams noted positive attitude through the Bobcats’ ability to stay even with a highly-skilled Oregon team through the first few events.
“It felt really great just to be right there next to them,” Adams said. “We don’t really think a lot about the scores, just about what we know how to do, and that’s what I think we focused on the most, going out and being confident.”
With the score still separated by mere tenths of a point at 126.35-126.03, the six-heat tumbling event was up next. Quinnipiac senior Kelsey Rule and sophomore Jenna Capristo highlighted the event with strong efforts in the Duo Pass, Aerial Pass and Open Pass heats. However, at the end of the event, it was Oregon that won by another close score of 57.275-55.625, to make the overall score 183.25-181.975 in favor of Oregon.
In the final event, the Team event, the Bobcats had looked to gain on the Ducks’ lead, but failed to do so after a few imperfections. Oregon took the Team event by a score of 100.94-92.97 to win the meet.
“I think we focussed a lot on the team routine event and I think that’s where most of our improvements will come,” Adams said. “We really were strong through the entire meet and we need to keep that going through the end and that’s where we’ll take most of our focus for the next coming weeks.”
At the end of the day the final score was 284.265-274.945, an effort that Powers pleased with.
“I was really proud of them. They hung on, closest we’ve ever been against the University of Oregon,” Powers said. “Going into the team even we knew we were going to have some issues, but…I think when you see them in isolated skills and all of those little segments they’re just fine.”
Next up, the Bobcats take on Albertson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia on March 16 in hopes of earning their first win of the season.