WACO, Texas - Baylor Acrobatics & Tumbling trailed after the first five events, but the Bears scored high enough in the Team Routine to upset Fairmont State, 270.58-268.615, in the first round of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) National Championships on Thursday night at the Ferrell Center.
The No. 6 seed Bears lost each of the first three events, which allowed No. 3 seed Fairmont State to take a 3.6-point lead to halftime at 94.3-90.7. The Bears rebounded to win each of the final three events, including a 2.475 margin of victory in Tumbling that erased nearly two-thirds of the halftime deficit.
"I told them, `The meet is not over'," head coach LaPrise Harris-Williams said. "They needed to be focused and not think about the first half. We are a second-half team. We are strong in Tumbling. I think Baylor is going to be known for tumbling in the future, and we definitely did that tonight."
Fairmont State held a slim lead after the first event, outscoring the Bears 36.95-36.45 in Compulsories. The Falcons widened the gap after winning both the Acro event 28.35-25.35 and the Pyramid event 29.0-28.9.
Baylor was able to slightly close the gap after a strong performance in the Toss event, but it still trailed Fairmont State by more than two points, 121.35-118.6. The Bears' strong performance in tumbling further narrowed FSU's lead to .275 with one event remaining.
Baylor entered the final event - the Team Routine - less than a point behind Fairmont State. BU outscored the Falcons 95.48-93.24, giving the Bears a 270.58-268.615 victory and advancing them to compete against No. 2 Oregon in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
"We have trained all week just to compete for three days," Harris-Williams said. "The girls are really excited and ready to show this is what we are, this is who we are. We're just going to ride that momentum."
The winner between Baylor and Oregon will advance to the Championship Round Saturday to face the winner of the other semifinal featuring Maryland and Azusa Pacific. Maryland and APU meet at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center.
|| #6 BAYLOR
|| #3 FAIRMONT STATE