EUGENE, Ore. – With just one regular season meet remaining, the UO acrobatics and tumbling team has kept all of its impressive streaks alive. The Ducks are the lone unbeaten team in the NCATA, are riding a streak of 31 consecutive wins and are in pursuit of a fourth straight national championship.
Yet, as the Ducks (9-0) enter their regular season finale, head coach Felicia Mulkey insists that the team hasn’t peaked yet -- a scary thought for their competition.
“We’re still waiting for that meet where it all falls together at the same time,” said Mulkey. “I feel like we peaked in the middle of the season last year. We definitely haven’t peaked yet this season.”
Oregon closes the regular season Monday against Azusa Pacific (3-2) in Azusa, Calif. Oregon defeated the Cougars by two points in its second meet of the season. UO scored just 280.580 in that meet, its lowest of the season.
It’s been all up since then as the Ducks have rattled off four straight meets with at least 281 points. Mulkey is hoping that her squad’s continued improvement has been building up to this meet, and to the postseason.
“We had a really bad meet against Azusa last time, our worst of the year,” said Mulkey. “We know that we can’t let our guards down, but we feel like we’re coming off a few good results. It should be an interesting meet.”
Monday’s meet will also give UO more time to familiarize itself with the Felix Event Center, which will host the upcoming NCATA National Championships. The Cougars will host this year’s national meet from April 25-27, where the Ducks will be gunning for a fourth straight title.
More importantly, Monday will give Oregon one last opportunity to play with its lineups and skills, and clean up deductions.
“We’re deep enough that we’re still changing out our skills and seeing what combinations we like,” said Mulkey. “It’s not a bad place to be, but it’s not what we’re used to.”
Through three tri-meets and three dual meets, the Ducks have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 14.750. With one last dual and the postseason on the horizon, the Ducks have reason for confidence entering the key portion of their schedule.
“We feel very confident right now,” said Mulkey. “We’ve set ourselves up for a good postseason. We’re just working on improving our scores right now and taking it one meet at a time.”
Monday’s meet against Azusa Pacific will begin at 6:30 p.m. (PST). UO will be attempting to finish the regular season undefeated for a third straight season.