Battle of the Bobcats: Acrobatics & Tumbling bounces back against Frostburg State


Amanda Geraci

Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling is back in action against Caldwell on April 14 at home.

Jennifer Moglia, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn. — On Saturday, the Quinnipiac acrobatics & tumbling team bounced back after its first loss of the season last week, beating Frostburg State 267.785-260.8 at home.

It was April Fool’s Day, but the Frostburg State Bobcats were no joke, shaping up to be Quinnipiac’s most evenly-matched opponent so far this season. The school’s, located in Frostburg, Maryland, acrobatics & tumbling program was founded in 2021, but its athletes performed like veterans against Quinnipiac. 

“When the rankings came out this week it was kind of a surprise to see Frostburg had ranked so high,” graduate student base Bella Pierce said. “Honestly, it’s amazing for that program and for the sport, so going into it, we always try to think of (our opponent) as the highest seed … focusing on ourselves and no one else.”

Quinnipiac suffered its first loss of the season by nearly 14 points at No. 1 Baylor on the road. It was clear that if the Bobcats from Connecticut wanted to make a championship push late in the season, they needed to bring their A-game while facing the Bobcats from Maryland.

From the start of the meet, the energy in M&T Bank Arena was the highest it had been all season on both sides of the mat. Both teams came ready to fight as soon as the opening event began, with Frostburg earning a 9.9 in the compulsory pyramid heat and Quinnipiac securing a 9.8 and a 9.85 in the compulsory pyramid and toss events, respectively.

Frostburg had a chance to pull ahead during the acro event, when sophomore top/base Alyssa Dillon fell out of position early. Two clean performances from junior top MiaRose King and freshman top/tumbler Katherine Carter to close out the event helped Quinnipiac hold onto its lead.

By the end of the pyramid event, 0.6 of a point separated the two teams. After the toss event, 0.95 of a point set them apart. 

Senior base Bri Marks said that she and her teammates do their best not to look at the scoreboard during meets, especially in meets as close as this one.

“It’s pretty hard to avoid looking at the scores, but we try not to worry about (them) and focus on what we’re doing next and how we can better improve or pick up the scores in other events,” Marks said.

Head Coach Mary Ann Powers agreed with that sentiment with a laughing remark after the meet. 

“We’re not looking at scores anymore. I’ve just decided not to look at them at all,” Powers said.

Heading into the second half, Quinnipiac knew that it had to kick things up a notch. Powers’ words at halftime gave the Bobcats the boost they needed.

“I told them, ‘listen, the second half belongs to us, let’s hold on to it,’” Powers said.

Dillon  redeemed herself from her slip-up earlier in the meet with a great individual performance. Carter continued her standout rookie season with a stellar individual tumble, proving why she was named NCATA Freshman of the Week last month.

Going into the team event, Quinnipiac led by about three points. Frostburg’s team event had a start value of 102.4, while the QU Bobcats’ ceiling was 107.11.

A few early falls threw the energy off for Frostburg, and while there was improvement, the team couldn’t fully recover. This presented a huge opportunity for Quinnipiac heading into the final event, and the home team capitalized on that.

As soon as the lineup took its places for the routine, the energy in the room shifted once again. The cheers were the loudest they had been all season, and in that moment, the Bobcats from Hamden knew they had beaten the Bobcats from Frostburg.

“I think we knew the second that we stepped on the mat that we were going to do an amazing job,” Marks said.

Quinnipiac topped Frostburg by almost four points in the team event, finishing the day winning by almost eight points. The victory was a great way to top off senior day, as the team paid tribute to its seven senior athletes, one graduate student athlete and two senior student athletic trainers.

“They had to go through two years of COVID…and yet they created (a team culture),” Powers said.

The Bobcats improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 for both in-conference and at-home play. They will be back in action for one more home meet on April 14 at 6 p.m. vs. Caldwell.