Heading into the final event on Sunday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center, the Quinnipiac acrobatics & tumbling team trailed Baylor by .08 points, 177.47-177.55.
With only the team routine remaining, Quinnipiac assistant coach Manny Bonilla knew it was time to take a risk. He approached Bobcats Coach Mary Ann Powers with an idea: tweak the beginning of the routine slightly.
“I told him it was risky,” Powers said after the game.
Bonilla responded to Powers without hesitation.
“Let’s take the risk, let’s see what these kids are made of.”
Quinnipiac went with the risk. Going with three folds instead of layouts in the beginning of the routine, the Bobcats took the team event 101.92-101.28 and defeated Baylor by the final score of 279.39-278.83
“I told my assistants going into that final event that we needed to really nail it,” Powers said. “To me that says a lot, at the end of the meet when you’re most tired, they can pull it together and get it done.”
The Bobcats started out hot, winning three of the four heats in the compulsory round to take the 37.45–36.70 lead. Baylor would bounce back, however, winning by a commanding 2.03 points in the acro round.
Quinnipiac grabbed the lead back in the toss round, only to see Baylor snatch it away once again a round later. The back-and-forth sequence of events set up a thrilling win for Quinnipiac’s seniors in their last game at home.
“They’re on cloud nine still,” Powers said. “They wanted it to be their last good home experience. These kids are really focuses, calm, and not much rattles them.”
All seven seniors were honored in a ceremony prior to the start of the match.
With the win Quinnipiac improves to 2-0. The Bobcats are back in action two weeks from now, Mar. 10, as they will travel to Matthew Knight Arena in Oregon.