[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]It was Senior Day on Sunday for the Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling team and it got its seniors a win over Gannon University by a final score of 278.015-276.335.
“I thought we did really well,” senior base and co-captain Samantha Gormley said. “It was a little rough in some areas, but the team really pulled together and picked up the energy and by the time team routine came we did so good. I’m really proud of everybody.”
The Team Event sealed the deal for the Bobcats (5-2, 4-0 ECAC) in what was a back and forth battle. While the Bobcats won more individual heats than the Golden Knights (5-3, 3-1 ECAC), the difference in point total from each heat loss is what helped keep things close.
Going into the Team Event, the score was separated by just .2 points in favor of the Bobcats, but they scored over a full point higher than the Golden Knights to close out the day and secure the win. The Bobcats’ only event losses came in the Acro and the Tumbling events.
“I think for me the win was the recovery in that last ditch moment that tells me ‘these kids are mentally tough,’” Quinnipiac head coach Mary Ann Powers said. “If there had been a repeat of those two skills going down it would have been a loss. So what this said to me is these kids are fighters, which is good to know.”
The Bobcats held a pregame ceremony to honor their seniors, but showed some class as they honored Gannon’s seniors as well. The honoring of the visiting team’s seniors on Senior Day is a tradition recommended by Quinnipiac Senior Associate Athletic Director Bill Mecca, but for these two teams, it runs deeper than just good sportsmanship.
[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“When we played at the University of Oregon, Gannon shared a bench with us and because we were both playing the ‘all mighty Ducks,’ they were all about Quinnipiac,” Powers said. “They got behind our team and my kids just wanted to do something nice back in the name of good sportsmanship.”
Today marks the last time that Gormley will be taking a Quinnipiac mat, but for her, it started out business as usual.
“I know for me the whole meet it just felt normal,” Gormley said. “After we finished team routine, when we hit it, after I smiled at the end I got tears in my eyes, I was like ‘that’s the last time I’m ever going to do team routine on this floor, in this arena.’ So that’s when it hit me.”
While the judges were scoring one of the events, a “QU-Bobcats” call and response chant was started from the stands. This is a testament to a sport that is on the rise, according to Powers.
“What it says to me is somebody’s missing the boat, this is a network sport waiting to happen,” Powers said. “I have to tell you watching the women’s basketball team…the excitement I had for our women and what they’re doing and what women’s basketball across the country is doing for women in sports is incredible. I want the same thing said for this sport. It shows well on T.V., somebody’s missing the boat, somebody needs to pick it up because it’s fun to watch and little girls love it.”
Coming up for the Bobcats is a trip to the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) championships, held at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Despite some mistakes today, the team is ready to climb to the top, according senior top and co-captain Alyssa O’Connor.
“I think it shows how mentally tough we are because when we make mistakes, we’re able to bring it back from that,” O’Connor said. “We’re able to still stay all in, it makes us even hungrier to do even better. Going into nationals I think that we always look to one-up ourselves, so I think it’s going to help us going into nationals.”