Oregon acrobatics and tumbling falls short in rematch with Baylor in season finale
Going into Sunday’s meet against the Baylor Bears, the women of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling knew that they needed to deliver a flawless performance to best their rivals on senior night. For most of the meet, it looked like they might do it.
Despite a stellar showing throughout the first five events, a pair of costly mistakes in the team event knocked the Ducks’ score down enough for the Bears to pull out a 286.750-284.285 win. With the loss, Oregon concludes its regular season with a 4-3 record.
“We were tenths ahead of them and we knew this meet was going to come down to tenths,” Ducks head coach Keenyn Won said. “We knew we had to go out there and execute our team event. Baylor definitely had some mistakes in theirs, but we just had bigger mistakes.”
Despite the loss, the Ducks’ score of 100.160 in the team event was the team’s best mark of the season, and the first time Oregon cracked triple digits. Won said that the event cost the Ducks the meet, and the scores bear that out: a fall is an automatic 1.5 point deduction, and both of Oregon’s mistakes were falls. Without them, the Ducks would’ve taken home a victory.
Even though she was disappointed, Won noted that she’d prefer to have the team’s errors come down to pair of big ones rather than a bevy of minor slip-ups.
The Bears kicked things off with a 38.85-38.70 win in the compulsory event, and followed that up with a win in the acro event.
In the pyramid event, the Ducks hit their stride, winning the event 29.80-29.20. To cap things off, the team earned a perfect 10.0 in heat three to head into the intermission with a 97.95-97.85 lead.
Oregon continued where it left off after the break, coming back out to win the toss event 29.70-29.55. They continued on to take the tumbling event 56.475-56.35.
“Tonight, I feel like we really did execute in events 1-5,” Won said. “That’s something we’ve really been working on in the last month, to focus on an entire meet.”
The loss came during what was already destined to be an emotional night for the Ducks as the team said goodbye to seniors Alexis Cross, Reagan Trussell, Taylor Galvin, Sabrina Peyton, Annelyse Robinson, Kendall Greene, Maddy Hite, Cheyenne Holliday, Kaylee Nicklos and Ali Garwood.
There was one member of the class who wasn’t on the mat with her teammates, however.
The last senior to be honored was Lauren Jones, who died of meningitis in 2015. Her family traveled from Georgia to accept her jersey while the previously loud arena honored her with a moment of silence. The Ducks also wore black #51 patches, recalling her number.
“Lauren Jones and the experience that this class went through with her passing has truly molded and shaped who they are,” Won said. “That’s something that they talk about all the time, that she’s looking over them and that they’re gonna do it for her. Obviously tonight didn’t go in our favor, but we still have more of our season that we can dedicate to Lauren.”
The Ducks will travel to Erie, Pennsylvania, for the NCATA Championships starting April 26.
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