Seniors, Ducks Battle in Home Finale

EUGENE, Ore. — The No. 4 Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team put together a valiant effort in the tumbling event to cut into the lead of No. 1 Baylor late, but the Bears prevailed in the team event and won 274.915-266.595 on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

The top-ranked Bears (8-0) put together solid performances in the compulsory event to put the Ducks (2-3) behind early, but a late push saw UO win the tumbling event 55.875-55.075 and draw itself closer entering the final event of the night. Oregon grouped together to deliver a team event performance that brought the MKA crowd to its feet, but in the end it was not enough to push past Baylor.

“I think setting up to this meet we trained really hard and they worked really consistent in practice and I was really proud of that,” head coach Taylor Susnara said. “Going into today I kind of joked with the team that it’s survival of the fittest. It’s head to head competition with one of the best programs in the NCATA right now and unfortunately the scores didn’t fall our way and we didn’t execute as well as we maybe could have. At the end of the day we didn’t pull out the W but I’m still proud of how they executed the team event and finished out the last meet.”

10 Oregon seniors were honored after the meet, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication to the program over the last four years. This year’s class included Kaylie Barrera, Makena Carrion, Emilie Henningsen, Mallory Kent, Emma Keogh, Katie Keogh, Italie Macchiavello, Camille Mantoani, Caelin Niebergall and Cami Wilson. Each contributed in at least one heat for the Ducks in their final competition at MKA. Also recognized was senior student manager Ethan Karpel.

“It’s a big group of seniors with a lot of big personalities who are a lot of fun,” said Susnara. “We were able to connect in pregame meal and shed a lot of happy tears there, and I think that we have some big shoes to fill.”

How It Happened: Baylor got off to a quick start in the meet, edging Oregon in each of the compulsory heats to jump out to a 38.30-37.20 lead after the first event. The Ducks battled back to win the seven-element acro heat as Bethany Glick, Henningsen, Macchiavello, Bella Swarthout and Riley Watson teamed up to score a 9.80, but the Bears took a slight victory in the event overall to grow their lead.

Oregon displayed great consistency in its pyramid event, scoring 9.85 in each of the heats to earn a score of 29.55, but after Baylor edged out a 0.10 win in the toss event the Ducks found themselves needing to make up ground entering the final two events of the night.

In the tumbling event, UO stood its ground to win three of the six heats and take the overall event by a score of 55.875-55.075. Rachel Furlong and Kent opened the event with a stellar performance in the duo pass, while Rickelle Henderson added an exclamation point with a 9.800 in the open pass that pushed Oregon ahead in the event.

Still needing to gain some ground, Oregon delivered an inspiring team event performance that left the Ducks breathless and smiling as they ran back to greet their teammates on the sidelines. However, when the final scored were announced it proved not to be Oregon’s night as Baylor won the event and the meet.

Up Next: The Ducks face a quick turnaround as they close out the regular season on Tuesday at No. 6 Azusa Pacific at 7 p.m. PT.

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