EUGENE, Ore.— The University of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team (1-0) started their quest for three straight NCATA championships on a strong note as they defeated Azusa Pacific University (0-1) 276.790-272.240.

Oregon started the meet off by notching a 39.05 in the compulsory round, including a perfect score in the pyramid heat. UO almost got another two more perfect scores in the round as they scored 9.95 and 9.85 in in the toss heat and acro heat, respectively.

Azusa Pacific made up some ground as they topped Oregon in the Acro round, scoring 27.85 to Oregon’s 27.54. The Ducks scored 9.24, 8.70 and 9.60 in the three heats, but Azusa Pacific was able to score 9.00 or above in all three heats and took the Acro round.

“I was very impressed with all of our Compulsory events and thought we came out really strong,” said Mulkey. “We definitely stumbled in the beginning of the Acro heat, which is usually one of our stronger events. We were trying some more difficult skills, and with that comes some risk. The 7-element (Nicole Seybold, Chandler White, Zakia Houston and Natasha Katzaroff) performed extremely well and I thought they brought us back and helped us maintain our lead.”

With those scores, UO led after two events, 66.59 to 66.4.

The Ducks expanded that lead to 96.34-95.30 with a 29.75-27.85 edge in the Pyramid round. Oregon scored 9.90 or above in all three heats to head into halftime with some momentum.

After the intermission, Azusa Pacific struck back and took the Toss round 28.40-28.10. UO scored well in all three heats, notching a 9.20, 9.40 and 9.50, but APU scored an impressive 9.75 in heat three to win the round.

Oregon took care of business in the Tumbling round as they outscored their opponents in the duo pass 9.50-9.10 (Natasha Katzaroff and Nicole Erlichman), triple pass 9.35-9.00 (Brandy Duren, Kisa Chapman and Erin Block), quad pass 8.80-8.70 (Tara Lubert, Sarah Moreno, Zakia Houston and Maegan Campbell), aerial pass 9.90-9.625 (Kisa Chapman) and 6-element pass 9.95-9.60 (Nicole Erlichman) before APU scored 9.875 to UO’s 9.80 in the open pass (Natasha Katzaroff). The Ducks won the round 57.20-55.90.

Up 181.94-179.30 before the team routine, Oregon needed to continue the solid performance to go home with a victory. Azusa Pacific scored a 92.64, but the Ducks outscored them, notching a 95.15 to secure the win.

“Overall, it was a really great meet for a first meet,” added Mulkey. “We have some room to improve but we didn’t want to peak in the beginning of the season anyways. Our tosses were actually very clean for the most part and we also had a very solid team routine for the first meet. We’re excited about coming back to Eugene for our first home meet March 2nd.”

Oregon returns to action on Saturday, March 2nd as they host their first meet of the season, welcoming the Baylor Bears to Matthew Knight Arena.