Acrobatics & Tumbling Travels To Oregon For Inaugural NCATA National Championships

Thursday-Saturday, Apr. 7-9, 2011 - 8 p.m.
No. 6 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-5 NCATA) vs.
No. 3 Azusa Pacific University Cougars (3-4 NCATA)

No. 5 Fairmont State University Fighting Falcons (1-6 NCATA) vs.
No. 4 Baylor University Bears (2-5 NCATA)

No. 2 University of Maryland Terrapins (8-0 NCATA) (First Round Bye)
No. 1 University of Oregon Ducks (6-1 NCATA) (First Round Bye)

Matthew Knight Arena - Eugene, Ore.

NCATA National Championships
The Quinnipiac women's acrobatics & tumbling team travels to Eugene, Ore. to take part in the first-ever National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association National Championships, beginning on Thursday, Apr. 7 and lasting until Saturday, Apr. 9. Quinnipiac faces No. 3 Azusa Pacific at 8 p.m. (ET) in its first round head-to-head matchup.

"The coaching staff and team are proud to represent Quinnipiac University in this historic National Championship at Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena," said head coach Mary Ann Powers. "All six universities have committed to pioneering a new sport that reflects the interests and abilities of over one million young women. Quinnipiac's team has had two great home meets in the past week. Our scores and their confidence reflect that they are ready to head into Nationals better prepared than earlier in the season. Several of our individual heats have qualifies as the four top overall season high scores and will be competing on Saturday for individual National Championships."

Championship Weekend
All six members of the NCATA will be represented at the Championships. The top two seeds in the Championships, No. 1 Oregon and No. 2 Maryland, will each have a first-round bye. No. 6 Quinnipiac will face No. 3 Azusa Pacific, while No. 5 Fairmont State will face No. 4 Baylor. The winner of the Quinnipiac vs. Azusa Pacific matchup will then face Maryland in the second round, while the winner of the Fairmont State vs. Baylor matchup will face Oregon in round two.

"The NCATA Administrator's have been planning this Inaugural National Championship for the past two years and on behalf of our coaches and student-athletes we are very grateful to the University of Oregon Athletics and Coaching staff for hosting this historic championship," said Quinnipiac Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald. "Quinnipiac's student-athletes and coaches are thrilled to be part of the first of many National Championships."

About Azusa Pacific
The Cougars are coming off a 281.86 - 278.85 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Mar. 5. Despite scoring a season-high overall score, the Cougars were edged in the final event, the team routine, to fall to 3-4 on the season. Azusa Pacific led with a halftime score of 96.30 - 95.71, and slightly increased its lead with a 28.76 - 28.62 in the basket toss, but began to falter after falling to Baylor in the tumbling event, 51.24 - 50.80. In the final team routine event, Baylor put together and incredible 106.29 total, compared to Azusa Pacific's 103.084, to complete the come-from-behind victory.

Season's First Meeting
In the team's first meeting of the season on Saturday, Feb. 5, Azusa Pacific defeated both Quinnipiac and Fairmont State to emerge victorious in the first tri-meet of the season. Azusa Pacific's overall score of 274.86 was higher than both Quinnipiac's 265.14 and Baylor's 273.52 totals. Despite trailing at halftime, Quinnipiac received tremendous performances from both freshman flyer Trisha Pierce (Middletown, Pa.) and senior back spot Erin Trotman (Bristol, Conn.) in the second half. Pierce scored a 9.60 out of a possible 10.0 (the highest score in heat three) performing a near-perfect double front basket. Pierce followed with a 9.20 out of a possible 9.50 in her open pass of the tumbling event.

Last Time Out
In Quinnipiac's last meet on Saturday, Mar. 26, Quinnipiac was defeated by Maryland, 285.980 - 279.786. Quinnipiac collected season-high marks in the stunt event (28.60) and overall score, yet it was not enough to defeat the nation's top team. The Bobcats were more than ready for the challenge of facing undefeated Maryland, as the Bobcats won all three events in the first half (the first time it has done so all season). The compulsory (39.25 - 39.19), stunt (28.60 - 28.43) and pyramid (29.05 - 27.55) events all went in favor of Quinnipiac, which took a 96.90 - 95.12 lead into halftime.

Maryland took its first event of the afternoon, the basket toss, with a narrow 28.77 - 28.72 victory. The Terrapins then took the overall lead in the meet by outscore Quinnipiac in the following tumbling event, winning 56.42 - 50.78. Despite the Bobcats only receiving a 2.426 deduction on its team routing (compared to Maryland's 3.72 deduction), Quinnipiac's season-high score of 103.38 was not enough to defeat Maryland's 105.62.

Nation's Basket Toss Leader
Quinnipiac Sophomore flyer Christina Lasto (Oxford, Conn.) broke her own national record in the basket toss heat with a perfect 10 out of 10 on Saturday against Maryland. The sophomore had become the national leader just five days earlier when she scored a near-perfect 9.95 out of a possible 10 on Monday, Mar. 21 against Oregon.

About Acrobatics & Tumbling
The acrobatics & tumbling format revolves around a two-to-four team competitive meet. Within one meet are six events: Compulsories, Stunts, Pyramids, Baskets, Tumbling, and Team Routine . Everything is competed in a head to head format, alternating from one team to the next. Scores will be displayed in real-time in order to inform both the teams and spectators as to which side is ahead. All skills have a pre-determined difficulty value and are scored solely on execution during the meet.

"I am so proud of my team and excited for the opportunity to represent Quinnipiac at the first ever NCATA National Championship," said senior captain Nicole Castiglione (Edison, N.J.). "We have worked so hard all season and regardless of the outcome next week, I feel honored to be a part of such a historic first season for acrobatics and tumbling."

Senior captain Erin Trotman added: "I am so excited to be competing in the first ever National Championship for acrobatics and tumbling. We, as a sport, have come so far and the sport has developed in one season so much, and I know it will continue to grow and be amazing. I am thrilled to be going to Oregon to compete with Quinnipiac. We have a couple of rounds where we are up for national standings. We are all excited and all of our hard work and determination will be put to the test when we are down there. All the teams are growing in this division and we will continue to grow. I am proud to be a part of this new sport Acrobatics and Tumbling that Quinnipiac University has offered us."