Maryland Edged in NCATA Championship
April 9, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - The second-seeded Maryland competitive cheer team was edged by top-seeded Oregon 283.482 to 283.352 Saturday night in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association's national championship in Matthew Knight Arena on the Oregon campus.
It was the Terps' (9-1) lone loss of the season. After trailing early on, the Terrapins rallied in the tumbling and team routine rounds before falling in the closest NCATA meet to date.
"We lost by a tenth of a point. My girls are disappointed, but I couldn't be prouder of their showing today," head coach Jarnell Bonds said. "This is our first loss of the season, so unfortunately my athletes haven't experienced not being the best this season. That's tough for them and it's tough as a coach to talk them through, but this was the closest NCATA match so far."
"After going undefeated, this is a tough way to lose. Last year, we lost the title in 2009 and we came back in 2010 for our best year for winning a championship. We're going to build off that burn we feel and our desire to win," Bonds said.
The meet started off close, with the Ducks (8-1) taking the early edge in the compulsories round. Despite ties in the pyramid and basket toss heats, Oregon won compulsories 39.10 to 38.75.
Maryland won the stunts round with their second-highest stunts score of the year, 28.78. Oregon scored a 28.72 to hold on to the lead 67.82 to 67.53.
In the final event before halftime, pyramids, the Ducks earned a 29.65 to the Terps' 28.60. Oregon led 97.47 to 96.13 at the break.
Coming out of half, Oregon won the basket toss round 28.60 to 27.87. They led 126.07 to 124.00 heading into the tumbling round.
The Terrapins claimed the fifth event, tumbling, thanks to strong scores from all six heats. They won the duo, trio and 6-element passes for a score of 52.54 to 51.89. Brooke Grohol, who was new to the team this year, scored a 9.50 in the 6-element pass to Oregon's 8.60.
"Brooke's pass was definitely a highlight for us. She also competes in the trio pass and in both she was great," Bonds said. "She transferred on to this team and she became a strong point for us."
Heading into the final event of the night, the team routine, the Terps trailed 177.96 to 176.54. The team routine is worth the most points of any of the six events.
"In team routine, that's been our strength all year so I was fully confident our girls would go out do a great job and they did. They executed really well, it just wasn't enough for the title this year," Bonds said.
The Ducks went first and hit a solid routine, which had a start value of 108.420. Maryland performed its routine next and also hit a solid routine, which started at 109.342. The Terps won the team routine 106.812 to 105.521, but did not top the Ducks' overall score.
Maryland loses eight seniors this year. The class won two national championships in its four years. Arielle Brown, Amanda Bruno, Daugherty, Ford, Samantha Johnson, Kaitlyn Letourneau, Megan Salvatore and Venezia are all seniors.
"For my seniors, I'm sorry we couldn't send them out with a national championship, but they showed so much leadership to this team, we'll always thank them for that," Bonds said.
Earlier in the evening, the Terrapins competed in the NCATA's event finals. They won four of the six tumbling heats.
Grohol and Daugherty won in their individual heats. In the trio heat, Alexandra Yannelli, Margaux Cooper and Grohol took the title and Jamie Burke, Iovino, Letourneau and Lindsey Kaufmann teamed to win the quad heat.
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.
"We were undefeated all season until the national championship," Bonds said. "We adjusted to this format, we were undefeated and won three championships in the event finals. This has been a successful year for us no matter what."