AZUSA, Calif. – Oregon defeated Azusa Pacific University, the only team responsible for breaking Oregon’s winning streak of 26 consecutive meets, to win the NCATA National Championships Saturday night.
Oregon won the meet by an eight-point margin with the final score of 290.825 to Azusa’s 282.600. Oregon’s score of 290.825 is the second highest in NCATA history.
“You always want them to peak at the right time and rarely does that happen in a season,” said Oregon head coach Felecia Mulkey. “This was the perfect ending. I was so proud of the girls because they just weren’t going to be denied.”
Oregon racked up four 10 scores before halftime and one 10 after halftime. They gained the lead after the compulsory event, tied with Azusa in the acro event, and led in the rest of events.
“Azusa Pacific did a phenomenal job, they had that one fall and how impressive for them to come back and finish as strong as they did,” said Mulkey. “They did an amazing job, I don’t think another team could have come back and did that.”
Earlier in the day Oregon advanced to the NCATA finals with their second highest total score of the season against fourth-seeded Baylor. In the semifinal round, the Ducks earned five perfect 10 scores during the meet and were half of a tenth score away from earning three more 10 scores in the pyramid event.
“Pyramid was amazing today, we almost scored three 10’s, which is kind of unheard of but it was deserved today,” Mulkey said. “That was amazing, they really showed up. I’m proud of them.”
The Ducks took the lead with a 38.50-38.95 average in the compulsory event and continued to rack up winning scores throughout the meet. With the final score of the semifinal 286.600-280.295, Oregon gained its second-highest score of the season, only to be topped by their score earned later that day in the final round against Azusa.
On Friday the Ducks beat eighth-seeded Alderson-Broaddus to advance to the semifinal round against Baylor.
For seniors on the Oregon team, this win solidifies a career of consecutively holding the national title for the four-year history of the NCATA.
“[The seniors] have been an extraordinary leadership team this year… and these five women have been amazing,” said Mulkey. “I hate to see them go but I’m so happy to be able to send them out on that note.”
Oregon ends the year with a 12-1 record.