‘They’re peaking at the right time:’ Assessing acrobatics and tumbling at the midseason point


Jack Muscatello

Quinnipiac acrobatics and tumbling currently possesses a 4-1 record.

Jennifer Moglia, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac’s basketball teams’ seasons have ended, and the men’s hockey team is headed to Tampa to play in the NCAA Frozen Four. However, the doors to M&T Bank Arena haven’t shut just yet — the acrobatics and tumbling team has one more home meet left before its quest for a championship.

The golden question for the Bobcats is will they be able to take the leap necessary for a national championship win?

Quinnipiac’s 2022 season ended when the team lost to Baylor by just over four points at the NCATA National Semifinals. The Bears have been the Bobcats’ kryptonite for a while; Quinnipiac hasn’t been able to win against them since 2014.

There have been 11 NCATA championship matchups and Baylor has won the last seven. The Bears’ near-decade of dominance has had an impact on the Bobcats this season, being their lone loss of 2023.

The Bobcats earned their highest score of the season in the pyramid event, a 29.400 that almost edged out Baylor’s 29.800. Quinnipiac also recorded its second-best tumbling event score of the season, a 56.900, but they couldn’t measure up to the Bears’ 58.025.

“I don’t feel like we really lost last week at Baylor. They had their best performance (of the season), this is my highest-performing team ever,” head coach Mary Ann Powers said after the win against Frostburg State on April 1.

When Quinnipiac faced Baylor at home last season, the Bobcats scored the most points they had recorded in a meet since 2018 — a season that ended in a championship appearance — but they still lost. The Bears consistently play spoiler for Quinnipiac, even when the Bobcats have achieved accomplishments in the process.

Baylor is the No. 1 seed again this year, making it a potential obstacle for Quinnipiac on the road to a championship. However, this could still be the perfect time for the Bobcats to win it all.

An ongoing theme of this season with Powers has been when the team should be at its best. When you’re performing a lot of the same skills at each meet, there’s room for improvement every time, and the team shouldn’t be hitting its ceiling at the home opener.

“If we are at our best right now, we’ve peaked way too early,” Powers said on Feb. 5, days before the team’s first meet of the season.

When asked how she feels about the team’s improvement throughout the season last Saturday, things seemed to be on the right track.

“We want to raise those scores so we can move up in the bracket,” Powers said on April 1. “I don’t know that it was enough today, but they’re peaking at the right time.”

At the beginning of the season, Powers mentioned that she was excited to see what some of the newer additions to the team would bring to the table, mentioning freshman top/tumbler Katherine Carter and base Abby Hamilton specifically.

Carter has had a stellar rookie campaign, scoring a 9.675 in her first-ever open tumbling round and helping the team to season-highs in the quad tumbling and five-element acro heats. She was named NCATA Freshman of the Week on March 8 as well.

Hamilton has also made a splash this season. She was selected as one of NCATA’s honorable mentions for Freshman of the Week on Feb. 15 after participating in eight different heats in her collegiate debut vs. Kutztown on Feb. 11.

Top MiaRose King and base/tumbler Farrah Chernov, both juniors, have been the perfect veteran presence for the Bobcats this season.

King was chosen as NCATA Specialist of the Week after the home opener this year for her contributions in two heats against Kutztown. She has consistently brought new, unique skills to the table throughout the season with poise.

Chernov earned honorable mention honors for Specialist of the Week on March 8 after the team’s win vs. Augustana. She helped the Bobcats to a season-high 9.25 in the quad tumbling heat and scored a season- high 9.825 in her solo aerial tumbling pass as well.

Junior base/tumbler Farrah Chernov (far left) and first year top/tumbler Katherine Carter (left) both received NCATA praise this season. (Amanda Geraci)

This base staying healthy for a potential Baylor matchup is imperative. She was named NCATA Specialist of the Week when the Bobcats faced Baylor on March 23, 2022, for her perfect score of 10 in the open pyramid heat.

It will be crucial for the Bobcats to build off the momentum that they have been working to create throughout the season. They are 4-1 overall, currently undefeated at home and in conference play.

Most wins this season have been by a large margin and the team shows no signs of slowing down as it approaches its final home meet vs. Caldwell on April 14. Powers thinks that her players have created the perfect environment to bring a championship home this spring.

“The cultural difference between this year’s team and ones in the past has been amazing,” Powers said on April 1. “They just take care of business … they’re a great bunch of leaders.”