Terps Advance to NCATA Championship
April 9, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - The second-seeded Maryland competitive cheer team beat sixth-seeded Quinnipiac 280.512 to 271.583 Friday night in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association's semifinals at Matthew Knight Arena.
The Terps will compete against the top-seed, Oregon, Saturday at 11 p.m. ET. The Terrapins beat the Ducks 287.930 to 286.380 in the two teams' only meeting this year on March 24 in College Park.
Fans can watch all of the NCATA Championships online for $12.95 for the full weekend or $9.95 per day. For information on where to watch and the latest results, please visit NCATA Championships Central.
Against Quinnipiac, the Terrapins took the early lead and never looked back. Maryland (9-0) pulled away from the Bobcats (2-6) behind strong tumbling and team routine rounds. The Terps won five of the six events for the dominating win.
"We have a tradition of struggling on day one of championships, so to come out today and be strong really helps our confidence," head coach Jarnell Bonds said. "We're going to build off today. We set the bar high today and we're always trying to be our best. We did well today, so tomorrow will be even better."
They won the first round, compulsories, 38.31 to 38.17, after winning the stunt, basket toss and tumbling heats.
Moving on to the second event, stunts, the Terrapins won all three heats for a score of 28.39 to Quinnipiac's 27.545. They held a 66.70 overall score to the Bobcats' 65.715 heading into the final event before half, the pyramid round.
"The girls were really pleased to win the stunt round," Bonds said. "It was great to see the partner stunts build off each other. Their execution was very strong. Danielle Jenkins is such a leader and her execution is so flawless. She really shined today."
The Bobcats won the pyramid round 28.40 to 27.70, but the Terps still held a 94.40 to 94.115 lead at the break.
In the first event coming out of the half, basket tosses, the Terrapins pulled it out with a score of 27.050 to Quinnipiac's 26.97.
In the fifth event, tumbling, the Terrapins ended up taking a five point lead. The Terps have been the nation's strongest tumbling team throughout the year, earning them the No. 1 seed in the tumbling event final in Saturday's event finals. They won the tumbling round 52.74 to 49.34 to lead 174.19 to 169.475 heading into the final event, the team routine.
In their team routine, the most weighted event in the meet, the Terrapins earned their third-highest score of the year, a 106.322. Quinnipiac followed with a 102.108.
"The team routine was an excellent group effort and execution from so many people. Samantha Johnson, one of our seniors, finished her tumbling pass so strong and one of our freshmen Cara Gsell nailed her Arabian through to full twist tumbling pass. The team routine is what we're going to be thinking about because we knew we executed it so well. We know it's the highest point value for the meet," Bonds said.
Saturday will also include event finals. The four teams with the highest event score averages will compete. The Terrapins will compete in the stunt (No. 4 seed), basket toss (No. 3 seed) and tumbling (No. 1 seed) event finals. There are no event finals for the compulsory or team routine rounds. Event finals begin at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Maryland owns the NCATA season high event scores in compulsories (39.79), tumbling (56.42) and the team routine (107.42).
This is the first season the six NCATA member schools competed in all NCATA meets and nationals. An NCATA meet is made up of six rounds, compulsories, stunts, pyramid, basket toss, tumbling and the team routine.