QU Acrobatics & Tumbling Falls to Azusa Pacific in NCATA National Semifinals, 279.705-277.525

QU Acrobatics & Tumbling Falls to Azusa Pacific in NCATA National Semifinals, 279.705-277.525

Fairmont, W.Va. – The Quinnipiac University acrobatics and tumbling team was defeated by the Azusa Pacific Cougars, 279.705-277.525, in the 2015 NCATA National Quarterfinals at the Joe Retton Arena on Friday afternoon. The Bobcats recorded their highest overall score of the season, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cougars. Quinnipiac finishes the season 5-4 overall and claimed one individual title while two student-athletes were named to the All-American team.

For the second consecutive year, Quinnipiac was ousted by the Cougars from NCATA competition. After taking down Hawai'i Pacific in the quarterfinals last season, the Bobcats fell to Azusa Pacific in the semifinals, 284.725-278.140.

Quinnipiac entered Friday's matchup as the number five seed with a 5-3 record while the Cougars came in as the four seed at 5-1 on the year. Azusa Pacific jumped out to a quick start, winning the first three events before halftime. In the opening Compulsory event, APU captured a 38.25 to the Bobcats' score of 37.55. After scoring a 9.45 in the Acro, 9.95 in the Pyramid and 9.85 in the Toss heats, the score was tied heading into the final heat of the round. Quinnipiac's 8.30 in the Tumbling heat gave the Cougars a slight advantage as they put up a 9.00.

APU also took the Acro event, 29.95-28.71. The Cougars edged the Bobcats in the first two heats before QU responded with a 9.41 in the 7-Element heat to win one out of three. Azusa Pacific took a 97.00-96.01 lead heading into halftime after scoring a 29.80 in the Pyramid event.

Quinnipiac captured a season high score of 29.75 in the Pyramid off three huge results in each heat, but they were still outscored by .05. The Bobcats tallied a 9.95 in the Flip heat which matched their season best and scored a 9.90 in the Release heat for another season high mark.

Coming out of the break, Quinnipiac won the Toss event for their only win of the day. They scored a 29.15 which outscored their regular season high of 28.80. The Bobcats recorded season bests in both the first two heats and tied their high in the Open heat. Junior Taylor Johnson (Foxboro, Massachusetts), senior Rachel Leahy (Poughkeepsie, New York), junior Catherine Toma (Hackettstown, New Jersey), junior Brooke Artz (Whitman, Massachusetts) and senior Stephanie Palange (West Springfield, Massachusetts) combined to score a 9.75 out of a possible 9.80 in the 2-Element heat. QU captured a 9.85 in the Open, the same event they won the Individual NCATA Title on Thursday afternoon.

The Bobcats put up 54.225 in the Tumbling round but were outmatched by the Cougars by about two points. Johnson, who was recently named an NCATA All-American, concluded her junior season 8-1 in the Open Pass. The junior won the final tumbling heat with a 9.825. Two-time All-American Brooke Artz captured a 9.225 in the Aerial Pass.

Heading into the Team event, Quinnipiac needed to outscore Azusa Pacific by about two points. The Bobcats put up a 98.14, but the Cougars bested them with a 98.48. APU will advance to the NCATA Semifinals on Saturday morning and will face the winner of number one seeded Baylor University and number eight seeded King University.

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