January 29, 2012

Acrobatics & Tumbling Hosts Maryland In Season's First Home Contest On Saturday, Feb. 4 At 12 PM

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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 – 12 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0) vs.
University of Maryland Terrapins (0-0)

TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn. 

Home Opener
The Quinnipiac acrobatics & tumbling team opens its 2012 season with a home contest against National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association opponent Maryland on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center. Fans ages 12-and-under will be admitted free of charge, while general admission tickets will be sold at $5.

"We are extremely excited about facing off with University of Maryland for our first home meet," said head coach Mary Ann Powers. "As finalists for last year's NCATA National Championship, Maryland's historically strong team ranking will challenge our freshmen class right out of the gate. I expect to see strong leadership from our team captains Erin Trotman (Bristol, Conn.), and Danielle Pilloise (Southington, Conn.)." 

Season In Review
The Bobcats enter the 2012 season following a successful inaugural NCATA campaign in 2010-11. Quinnipiac opened its season with a close loss the No. 1 Terps, 267.031 – 265.208, on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. The Bobcats rode their wave of momentum into its next contest against No. 3 Fairmont State the following afternoon, Sunday, Dec. 5, defeating the Falcons, 264.304 – 263.379. for the team's first victory of the season.

Quinnipiac continued to improve in all aspects and experienced its highest point total during its first home contest of the season on March 21, 2011 when it hosted No. 2 Oregon. While the Bobcats were victorious in the pyramid event, defeating the Ducks, 29.700 – 29.450, they also executed some of the highest scores in the individual heats on the afternoon. In the tumbling round, sophomore Christina Lasto (Oxford, Conn.) performed a near-perfect score of 9.15 (out of 9.20), while senior Erin Trotman (Bristol, Conn.) also contributed an excellent score of 9.40 (out of 9.50). The Bobcats' team routine earned their highest point total of the season (103.81), capping off the intensely competitive first home meeting of the year.

The Bobcats entered the NCATA National Championships as the No. 6 seed, but quickly made its presence felt with a first-round upset victory over No. 3-seeded Azusa Pacific on April 7, 2011. Quinnipiac defeated Azusa Pacific, 274.113 – 273.882, in dramatic fashion, pulling off the comeback in the final event of the evening, the team routine. Quinnipiac won two of the first three events, yet trailed slightly at halftime, 95.59 – 95.56. Each team traded victories in the two events following halftime, as the squads entered the final event of the evening with the Cougars leading by just 1.095 points. The Bobcats came together to execute its third triple-digit team routine score of the season, defeating Azusa Pacific, 102.628 – 101.302.

The Bobcats ended their season with a valiant effort against Maryland, falling the eventual NCATA runner-up, 280.512 – 271.583, on April 8, 2011. 

About Maryland
Maryland enters the 2012 season as the runner-up in last season's NCATA National Championship. The No. 2-seeded Terps were defeated by the slightest of margins against the No. 1-seeded Oregon Ducks, 283.482 – 283.352, suffering its first defeat of the season (9-1 overall record) on April 9, 2011. The meet was close throughout, as Oregon won the first event, compulsories, 39.10 – 38.75. The Terps then came back to win the next event, stunt, 28.78 – 28.72. Oregon won the final event before halftime, the pyramid, 29.65 – 28.60, taking an overall score of 97.470 – 96.130 into the locker rooms at the break.

The Ducks edged the Terps in the first event following halftime, the basket toss, 28.60 – 27.87, however Maryland won the following event, tumbling, 52.64 – 51.89. In the final event of the afternoon, the team routine, Maryland won with a score of 106.812 – 105.521.

At the inaugural banquet held prior to the NCATA National Championships, Maryland was honored with six of the nine All-America selections. Two of the six All-Americans (Ali Lovino and Danielle Jenkins) return to lead this year's squad. 

Lasto Leads The Nation
Sophomore Christina Lasto (Oxford, Conn.) finished the season as the nation's leader in the open basket toss, shattering the season-high record (which Oregon held) on Monday, Mar. 21, 2011. Lasto's near perfect score of 9.95 (out of a possible 10.0) broke the previous record of 9.75 by a substantial margin.

Coach Powers added, "Junior Christina Lasto has continued to excel in all areas, and we believe she will have her best year yet." 

High Expectations
The Bobcats had many moments of brilliance during its inaugural season as an acrobatics & tumbling team, and look towards continual improvement during its sophomore campaign. 

"University of Louisville transfer Christine Rochester (Waterford, Conn.) and incoming freshman Stephanie Palange (West Springfield, Mass.), Stephanie Crosson (Ridgefield Park N.J.), Jenna Quenneville, will be bringing us higher tumbling scores," said coach Powers. "The growth of sophomore Danielle Burns (Budd Lake, N.J.), Trisha Pierce (Middletown, Pa.), and Cera Orner (Shamokin, Pa.) will also be reflected in many of our rounds of play."

NCATA Collegiate Membership
Quinnipiac embarks on its second full season as a member of the NCATA. In addition to Quinnipiac the league consists of seven additional schools, including Azusa Pacific, Baylor, Fairmont State, Plymouth State, UMass-Dartmouth, Maryland, and Oregon. 

About Acrobatics & Tumbling
The acrobatics & tumbling format revolves around a two-to-four team competitive meet. Within one meet are six events: Compulsories, Acrobatics, Pyramids, Tosses, Tumbling, and Team Event. 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. 

Season Schedule
Following Saturday's contest against Maryland, Quinnipiac will travel to Oregon on Friday, Feb. 17 to face Azusa Pacific and Oregon at 7 p.m. Quinnipiac then travels to face Maryland on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m., before it visits Fairmont State to face Baylor and Fairmont at 2 p.m. On Saturday, March 17 at 5 p.m., the Bobcats will compete in a quad-team contest, as it travels to Shorter University to take on Oregon, Fairmont State and Maryland.

Quinnipiac hosts its final game of the season on Monday, April, 2 at 6 p.m. when it hosts Azusa Pacific. The Bobcats then travel to Baylor for the NCATA Championships, set to occur from April 26-28.