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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Acrobatics and tumbling devours Frostburg State, advances to NCATA semifinals

Ben Kane
Acrobatics and tumbling junior back base Raven Hammett holds up the black cylinder mat that says “EAT” during the NCATA quarterfinals on April 25.

FAIRMONT, W. Va. — Eat. Food? No. Acrobatics and tumbling.

Among a splash of blue uniforms sits a black cylinder mat with the word “EAT” printed on the front. It even gets its own chair, watching every event, heat and sequence. 

“We always just say, ‘let’s eat’ like, ‘left no crumbs,’” junior base Madison Aiello said. “We just say that all the time.”

In a way, No. 2 Quinnipiac did eat its opponents on Thursday morning, ousting No. 7 Frostburg State 266.690-246.430 in the NCATA National Championship quarterfinals.

“It’s a win, right?” head coach Mary Ann Powers said. “We’re just happy to represent and move on. (The) kids have worked really hard this year. We’re really quite proud of what they did while they were out today.”

Let’s break down the Bobcats’ victory:

Quinnipiac came out of the gate swinging, posting a 37.575 in the compulsory event — outsourcing Frostburg State (35.525) in each of the four heats. 

“The energy is something that we just strive to keep,” senior base Summer Knoell said. “The passion and love for the sport just keeps growing as the meet continues. We don’t let it die.”

And it was true.

There wasn’t a lot that went wrong for the Bobcats, from championing each other off the mats to executing near-perfect routines. However, there were small blemishes that needed fixing.

Quinnipiac held more than a three-point lead following the acro event, but landed short in the six-element heat 9.325-9.250. 

Additionally, the Bobcats suffered a deduction in the duo pass heat of the tumbling event, resulting in a 7.600 while Frostburg State mustered an 8.400. 

“I think the takeaway is just that we’ve got room for improvement,” Powers said. “We had a couple of rounds that were a little bit disappointing and I was very proud of the players that shook that off.”

Needless to say, there wasn’t much cause for concern. 

“We have a family atmosphere,” Aiello said. “So if you’re struggling a little bit, you want to (compete) for the person next to you so we just keep each other up.” 

On the brink of the semifinals, Quinnipiac pulled out all the stops in the team event, boasting a 107.04. And although it had been performed six times prior throughout the regular season, the routine still left Powers in awe.

“They’re just not going to give it away,” Powers said. “I loved the way that they recouped over on the sidelines and put out a team routine that in my opinion, and I think I know what I’m talking about, was pretty darn flawless.”

The verdict is in. Powers knows exactly what she’s talking about. One constant among Quinnipiac’s acrobatics and tumbling program is the woman who played a critical role in establishing the sport in 2010.

Standing on a national stage, Powers and the Bobcats are well aware of what lies ahead — and how to reach the mountain top.

“It’s a village behind this team,” Powers said. “And it shows, and I think our culture is one of gratitude, quite frankly for our university that had a vision 15 years ago and decided to take something that was being naysayer across the country which was (for) competitive cheer to become a sport.”

If Thursday’s outing showed anything, it’s that Quinnipiac is on par to raise something bigger than a cylinder mat. A banner perhaps?

Time will tell, as the Bobcats make their second consecutive semifinal appearance Friday at 5 p.m. against No. 3 Gannon.

“We have a goal in our mind,” Knoell said. “We will do everything in our power to reach that goal.”

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Amanda Dronzek
Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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