In the sport of acrobatics & tumbling nothing feels better than clinching a perfect-10.
The Ducks accomplished that three times Saturday evening.
Highlighted by earning three perfect-10s and four season-high event scores, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks (3-0) defeated the Arizona Christian Firestorm, 277.755-247.745, Saturday night in Oregon’s second home meet of the season. Oregon’s victory score marks its best meet this season as well.
"Seeing those scores tonight means that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing,” Oregon head coach Keenyn Won said. “We always say 'one meet at a time, one score at a time'. By continuing to progress those scores every week, we will peak at the right time in the season. Tonight's performance puts us in a really good spot headed into next week."
This year marks the first season of the ACU program, which is now 0-2 after its first two meets.
Oregon had its best opening event of the season, scoring a season-high 39.20 points in the compulsory event. In this event, the Ducks earned two perfect-10s, one in the pyramid heat and another in the toss heat. ACU earned its first perfect-10 in program history in the toss heat, which gave the Firestorm a starting team score of 34.85.
The Ducks rode the momentum and scored a perfect-10 in the opening heat of the acro event. Oregon never scored below a 9.50 in the remaining two heats, earning a season-high 29.15 in the event. ACU had trouble keeping its balance in multiple heats with athletes falling off acro structures. This forced the team to score below a 9.0 in each of the three heats, earning an event score of 25.25.
The teams tied with a score of 9.85 in the opening heat of the pyramid event. The Ducks scored a near-perfect 9.95 in both the synchronized and open heats to enter intermission with a team score and another season-high of 98.10. The Firestorm had their best event of the night, scoring above 9.0 in each of the three heats, for a total team score of 88.30.
Oregon scored higher than the Firestorm in all three heats of the toss event, earning another season-high in an event score of 29.50. ACU earned a total of 27.35 in the event to put them at a total of 115.65 compared to Oregon’s lead of 127.60.
In the tumbling event, Oregon scored the highest with junior Payton Coon’s tumbling pass in the 6-element heat with a 9.80, yet the team earned its lowest score of the meet in the quad heat with a score of 8.05 when sophomore Calyx Hampton didn’t stick her landing. ACU scored its highest mark in the trio heat with an 8.60, while its lowest score came in the 6-element heat at 7.825. Oregon scored a 55.375 in the event, while ACU scored a 49.075.
ACU opened the team event scoring an 83.02. During intermission, Firestorm freshman Jayden Nelson fell during a practice tumble and had to be escorted off the court on a stretcher while wearing a neck brace. Nelson’s absence, who was a top, was noted during ACU’s team routine when the athletes still went through the motions in which she was involved in.
Oregon scored a 94.78 in the team event, which secured its victory over the Firestorm.
The Ducks will return to Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday, March 3, when they host No. 1 Baylor at 4 p.m. The Ducks have a deep rivalry with the Bears and are looking to redeem themselves after losing the past five meets against Baylor.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni