The reigning back-to-back national champion and preseason No. 1 Baylor acrobatics & tumbling team starts off its 2017 National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) season at home against the No. 3 Quinnipiac Bobcats on Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Ferrell Center at 1:00 p.m. CT.
“We work like the underdog and prepare like the underdog, and if you come to practice to meet these girls, talk to them, watch them work, you’d never know they were back-to-back national champions,” said Mulkey. “When they step on the mat Sunday I want them to have the confidence of a national championship team, but their work ethic is fantastic.”
The Bears are familiar with the Bobcats, winning last season’s regular season matchup 286.960-278.775 on the road in Hamden, Connecticut on Feb. 14, 2016. Sunday will mark the season openers for both teams as Baylor is 21-0 under third-year head coach Felicia Mulkey. The 2017 Bears will have 13 newcomers in addition to the 28 returning letterwinners from the 2016 NCATA championship squad.
“We’ve done a loT of education on the sport,” said Mulkey. “Hosting the national championship here last year was huge. There’s been a lot of buzz about it, so I’m hoping we can start there and build off it and keep letting people know about us and this sport. We are excited about starting at home and having a good environment. We have a good and growing fan base.”
A&T meets consist of six events: Compulsory, Acro, Pyramid, Toss, Tumbling and Team Routine. Teams compete in a predetermined rotation order throughout each event. Events are immediately scored by officials and overall standings are displayed on the scoreboard.