Bobcats fall short of Ducks in NCATA Championship

By Kevin Noonan, QBSN Staff Writer

Courtesy of Quinnipiac Athletics
Courtesy of Quinnipiac Athletics

The electricity was buzzing inside the TD Bank Sports Center as the crowd awaited the tabulating scores for the announcement of the NCATA champions. When they were announced, the Oregon Ducks claimed their third straight NCATA Championship.

Oregon went undefeated for the third straight season to win the championship, defeating Quinnipiac by a score of 277.885 to 273.665.

“It feels great, it was a fun tournament and Quinnipiac was a great team, I was so impressed with how far they’ve come since last year and throughout this whole year,” Oregon Ducks head coach Felecia Mulkey said. “I think this tournament and this last meet is a hint of what you’re going to see through the next years.”

The Bobcats were able to win the final Team Event by a score of 96.06 to 94.80 and tied in the Pyramid Event with 29.65 points a piece. In fact, the loss for the Ducks in the Team Event was the first time they lost that event in program history.

“We were 13 points out last time, we actually won the team routine and that’s a big event for us,” Quinnipiac head coach Mary Ann Powers said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these kids, I knew from week three this was a very special team.”

Quinnipiac also managed to take two heats on the day; Heat Three of the Acro event and Heat Three of the Pyramid.  But Oregon was able to recover each time and regain the advantage.

“We stumbled a little bit, literally, in the Acro heat … but I think what impressed me about our team is they recovered from all that,” Mulkey said. “We had this thing called next play, and they came back from the stumble in the Acro and got as many points as they could so we focused on that.”

Quinnipiac and Oregon both had their respective fan sections rocking all afternoon as the anticipation built on who would claim the NCATA championship.  Members of the Bobcats squad said all they wanted to do was stay as relaxed as possible.

“The whole time we just wanted to have fun, we were like we have nothing to lose, we made it to the championship and that was the biggest goal that we had,” freshman Flyer Taylor Johnson (Foxboro, Mass.) said. “We were seeded No. 2, we were just so excited.  We just wanted to be calm, have fun and this is an experience you can never get any where else.”

Not only did they just want to have fun, they just wanted to leave everything on the mat against the top seeded Ducks.

“We were second in the nation and we said alright no matter what we do we could still be second in the nation, we’re here in the finals, so we said just leave everything on the floor, everything you’ve got and we did that, I think we did really well,” freshman Back/Base Kayla McCormack (Hanson, Mass.) said.

Despite the loss, the after the meet the team couldn’t have looked anymore excited with how they performed on the mat, and will look to claim their first NCATA championship next season at Azusa Pacific University in California.