April 24, 2012

No. 4 Acrobatics & Tumbling Takes On No. 5 Azusa Pacific In NCATA Quarterfinals On Thursday, April 26

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 – 4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
No. 4 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-10) vs.
No. 5 Azusa Pacific University Cougars (3-3) 

Ferrell Center – Waco, TX. 

NCATA National Quarterfinals
The No. 4-seeded Quinnipiac acrobatics & tumbling team heads to the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas for a National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association Quarterfinals matchup against No. 5-seeded Azusa Pacific on Thursday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. (CT).

Multimedia
Live video for Thursday's contest can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.  

About Azusa Pacific
The Cougars are coming off a close loss to Oregon, 277.560 – 275.525, on Tuesday, April 17. The Ducks narrowly escaped with the victory despite catastrophic deductions in the final team routine, as multiple falls dropped their team event score to a 94.86 (its second lowest score of the season). Azusa earned a 96. 91 in the team routine, but it was not enough to complete the improbable comeback. The Cougar's only win of the afternoon came during the acro event, as they defeated the Ducks, 28.59-28.20. 

Redemption Song
Quinnipiac and Azusa face each other after last meeting on Monday, April 2, in which Azusa came away with the slimmest of victories, 287.375 – 287.215. On senior night in Hamden, Conn., Quinnipiac turned in some of its best scores of the season and, despite its closest loss of the season, demonstrated to the hometown fans in the TD Bank Sports Center why they so deserve a No. 4 seed in the NCATA National Championships.

On the night, Quinnipiac set season high scores in the acro (28.14), toss (28.80), tumbling (57.125) and team routine (104.700) events. Quinnipiac trailed at halftime, 97.53 – 96.59, but two tremendous scores in the toss and tumbling events propelled the squad into the lead by just .06 points heading into the final team routine event. However, Azusa Pacific narrowly edged out the Bobcats, 104.920 – 104.700, to take the come-from-behind victory. 

All-Time Against The Cougars
Thursday's meet will be the fifth time the two sides face each other, as Azusa holds a 3-1 all-time series lead. The two teams have faced each other twice during the 2012 season, with Azusa defeating Quinnipiac in both the tri-meet (with Oregon) on Friday, Feb. 17, as well as their most recent head-to-head meet on Monday, April 2. 

May History Repeat Itself
During last year's inaugural NCATA Championships, the Bobcats were once again matched up against the Cougars in the opening round. On that day, Quinnipiac upset the No. 3 seed with a final score of 274.113 – 273.882, earning its first-ever post-season victory in the process. Quinnipiac saved the dramatics for late, coming back to defeat Azusa Pacific (after being down by 1.095 points) in the final team routine event with a score of 102.628, compared to Azusa Pacific's 101.302. 

Regular Season In Review
Though the Bobcats have yet to attain their first victory of the season, the year has been far from a disappointment in terms of overall improvement. Quinnipiac faced a tough matchup in their first meet of the season on Saturday, Feb. 4th, when it hosted the 2011 NCATA Runner-Up Maryland Terps at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.  Despite staying close through the first half, and winning the opening event in second half action (toss), the Terps ran away with the victory, 284.540 – 274.855, following strong performances in the tumbling and team routine events.

Quinnipiac then endured four-straight road contests, beginning first with a tri-meet in Eugene, Oregon against the Ducks and Azusa Pacific. On that day, the Bobcats finished in third place next to Azusa's 281.218 as Oregon came away with an overall winning score of 285.443.

The Bobcats performed much better against Maryland the second time around on Friday, March 9th, accumulating its second-highest total of the season during the 290.560 – 283.000 defeat. Although Quinnipiac trailed by a slim .36 points at halftime, the Bobcats were unfortunate enough to go up against one of the strongest second half performances in NCATA history. With a second-half total of 194.11, including a 106.56 team routine score, Maryland earned the highest overall score in NCATA history. The 101.66 team routine score for Quinnipiac, its second-highest total of the 2012 season, marked the first time all year the team had cracked the triple-digit mark.

Quinnipiac then ventured to Fairmont State to face the Fighting Falcons and Baylor in its second-tri meet of the season on Sunday, March 11th. The Bobcats finished just 2.68 points behind first-place Baylor on that Sunday afternoon, and were edged by an even slighter margin of .79 by second-place Fairmont State. Quinnipiac won two events on the afternoon, pyramid and tumbling, and entered the final team routine in second place behind the Fighting Falcons. However, a winning score of 102.650 by Baylor propelled them into first place overall, dropping Quinnipiac to third in the meet.

The Bobcats truly began to see major improvements in its following meet against Oregon, Maryland and Fairmont State on Saturday, March 17th. On the afternoon, Quinnipiac posted season-high scores in compulsories (39.05), pyramid (29.8) and toss (28.8) events. Despite such outstanding scores, the Bobcats faltered in the final team routine, as their overall score of 279.54 fell short of Fairmont State's 280.675, Maryland's 284.11, and Oregon's winning total of 287.84. 

Other Quarterfinals Matchups
No. 3-seeded Fairmont State takes on No. 6-seeded Baylor at 6:30 p.m. (CT) following the Quinnipiac versus Azusa Pacific head-to-head. The winner of that meet will be matched up against No. 2-seeded Oregon the following Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. (CT). 

NCATA Collegiate Membership
Quinnipiac is in the midst of its second full season as a member of the NCATA. In addition to Quinnipiac the league consists of seven additional schools, including Azusa Pacific, Baylor, Fairmont State, Plymouth State (joining in 2013), UMass-Dartmouth (joining in 2013), Maryland, and Oregon. 

About Acrobatics & Tumbling
The acrobatics & tumbling format revolves around a two-to-four team competitive meet. Within one meet are six events: Compulsories, Acrobatics, Pyramids, Tosses, Tumbling, and Team Event. Everything is competed in a head to head format, alternating from one team to the next. Scores will be displayed in real-time in order to inform both the teams and spectators as to which side is ahead.  All skills have a pre-determined difficulty value and are scored solely on execution during the meet.

Coming Up
In the event of a Quinnipiac victory on Thursday, the Bobcats would move on to the Semifinals to face No. 1-seeded Maryland on Friday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m. (CT).

Contact: Ross Bennett; rsbennett@quinnipiac.edu