Bobcats A&T team nearly upset West Liberty in season opener

The WVWC A&T team stands in unison during the playing of the National Anthem before the season opener. PHOTO COURTESY OF WVWC ATHLETICS

WEST LIBERTY — The West Virginia Wesleyan College acrobatics & tumbling team (0-1) narrowly dropped the season opener to the preseason Mountain East Conference favorite, the West Liberty Hilltoppers (1-0), by a final score of 235.450-234.050 at the Academic Sports & Recreation Complex in West Liberty. 

 “I am extremely proud of this team and their effort tonight,” said WVWC Assistant Coach Taylor Broadwater. “We are looking forward to what this season has in store for us and what we will accomplish together.”

 In the compulsory event, the acrobatics heat team started the night with a score of 8.60. Up next, the pyramid heat team kept things rolling and recorded a score of 9.10 out of a possible 10 points. The Hilltoppers edged Wesleyan out by a score of 34.25-31.20 to take the first event of the evening. The six-element acro event team of Tiara Stokes, Joniah Howell, Kayla Gandy, and caller Caitlin Josef scored a 9.40. The Hilltoppers won the acro event by a score of 27.60-25.75.

 The Bobcats responded and won the pyramid event by a final score of 27.65-23.90. The synchronized pyramid team of Gandy, Stokes, Talia Cooper, Sydney McKinnon, Abigail Bowe, Emily Dengel, Megan Miles, Kayla Wade, and caller Kelsey Allen turned in a score of 9.10. The open pyramid squad followed that up with a score of 9.70. At the intermission, West Liberty held a slight 85.75-84.60 advantage over WVWC. 

 The Bobcats started the second half of the meet with a bang, making program history in the process, when the 450 salto team of Miles, Wade, Stokes, McKinnon, Alejandra Ditchen and caller Caitlin Josef performed the first back double routine at Wesleyan. Their performance earned a score of 8.95 points out of a possible 9.90 points. The synchronized toss team scored an 8.30 and the open toss team recorded a score of 8.40. After four events, the Bobcats had willed themselves into a slight lead over the Hilltoppers, by a score of 110.25-110.20.

 Gandy and Ditchen kicked off the tumbling event in the duo pass and scored a 7.7. In her first collegiate acrobatics & tumbling meet, Gandy recorded a 9.175 in the aerial pass event. Ditchen concluded the tumbling events by posting an 8.6 in the open pass. With one event remaining the two teams were separated by less than a point, as they continued to trade the lead. In the decisive event, the Bobcats performed their routine first, posting a score of 76.85. West Liberty followed and scored a 77.85 to survive the Bobcats’ upset bud and win the meet by a final tally of 235.450-234.050.

 Wesleyan will be back on the road for a meet at Glenville State next Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m. inside the Waco Center.

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