Ducks Down UMHB to Advance to Semifinals

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The No. 4 Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team led for the entirety of its matchup against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in a 262.745-259.655 victory, advancing to the semifinal round of the 2024 NCATA National Championships on Thursday afternoon.

After taking the lead in the opening compulsory event, the Ducks (4-3) were bested by the Crusaders (9-2) in the following two events and saw their lead reduced to just 0.05 as halftime approached. Oregon came out of the break with a dominant 28.250-27.275 win in the toss event and followed that up by winning five of the six heats in tumbling to rebuild its lead 179.175-175.375 entering the final event of the night.

Despite a few mistakes in the team event, Oregon came out on top with the victory and punched its ticket to the national semifinals for the second consecutive season.

“I was really proud of our pyramid event and our tumbling event today,” head coach Taylor Susnara said. “I think we really showed out in those different events. We’re really happy that we advanced to the semifinals and are really excited to take on whoever the winner is in this next meet. I think we have some work cut out for us in taking a different mindset into tomorrow so that we feel a little bit better in our performance.”

How It Happened: Oregon put itself in the driver’s seat with several good performances in the compulsory event, let by a 9.650 in the toss heat. The Ducks won each of the four heats to build an early 37.600-36.975 lead.

UO started the acro event well with a 9.80 in the inversion heat, but a score of 9.00 in the second heat provided a setback that allowed UMHB to win the event 28.775-28.250. Oregon rebounded well in the pyramid event as a solid 9.80 in the inversion heat helped the Ducks score a 29.10 and maintain its streak of scoring more than 29.00 points in the event in each meet this season. However, the Crusaders were up to the task as they outscored the Ducks with a 29.15, trimming Oregon’s lead 94.950-94.900 as the competition reached halftime.

The Ducks put a stop to the Crusaders’ run in the toss event, scoring 9.675 in the open heat to win the event 28.25-27.275. Oregon entered the tumbling event with start-value advantages in a majority of the heats and put them to good use, winning each of the first five heats of the event en route to outscoring UMHB 55.975-53.200. Rachel Furlong was sensational in her six element pass in scoring 9.625, while Rickelle Henderson capped the event with a solid 9.650 in the open pass.

With a 4.22-point lead favoring the Ducks, the Crusaders put together an impressive performance in the team event to earn an 84.280 and apply pressure to Oregon. UO faced trouble early in its team event, but rebounded well to finish the second half strong and earn a score of 83.570 in the end, enough to secure the quarterfinal victory and extend its season another meet.

What’s Next: The Ducks will face the winner of tonight’s semifinal meet between top-seeded Baylor and the No. 8 seed Fairmont State. Oregon’s semifinal meet will take place on Friday at 4 p.m. PT and will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+

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