Top-Ranked Acro and Tumbling begins highly anticipated 2022 season

As the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling continues to grow in popularity amongst the United States, West Liberty University (WLU) continues to remain at the forefront, as the newfound blue chip program is gearing towards what they believe is yet another strong season. This preseason in particular for the Hilltoppers have marked historic precedents, as the team is slotted as the eleventh best team in the nation, their highest ranking in program history. Contrary to other sports and given that Acrobatics and Tumbling is very new, rankings for the sport stem across all divisions, making this ranking for the black and gold that much more impressive.

Slotted at the top team in the nation is Baylor, followed by Azusa Pacific and Oregon rounding off the top three. Next is Quinnipiac, Hawaii Pacific, Gannon and Converse. Fairmont State is ranked eighth in the nation, representing one of three teams in the Mountain East Conference for the Top 15. Limestone and King, Tenn. capture the remainder of the Top 10. With West Liberty being eleventh, they need to fend off those behind them, which are Presbyterian, Belmont Abbey, Mary-Hardin Baylor and a familiar face in Frostburg State.

Ironically, when looking at the 2022 MEC Preseason Poll, fans can begin to scratch their heads in regards to the rankings. Out of the seven competing teams, West Liberty ranks first in the conference, barely edging out Fairmont State by one first place vote. Frostburg State is a distant third, with Glenville State fourth, West Virginia Wesleyan fifth, Davis and Elkins sixth and Alderson Broaddus dead last at seventh.

It is safe to say that Head Coach Kelsey Kyle is undoubtedly extremely happy with how her squad has developed over the off-season and much of this development can be attributed to the veteran leadership the Hilltopper squad has. Graduate student Kenzie Kyle, graduate student Abby Bauer, senior Theresa Evangelista, and senior Lexus Ficca highlight this leadership, and have been a part of the Hilltopper Acrobatics and Tumbling team since its origin.

The month of February marks the beginning of the highly anticipated season for the Hilltoppers, as they open their campaign against West Virginia Wesleyan College on Feb. 17 at the beautiful ASRC on the campus of West Liberty University. From there, they travel to Alderson Broaddus, for a tri-match against Alderson Broaddus University and Davis and Elkins College on Feb. 24. To follow are matchups against Glenville State College on March 1, King University on March 8, Gannon University on March 16, Fairmont State University on March 27 and Frostburg State University on April 2.

These contests should prove to be enough for the Hilltoppers to gear up for a successful Mountain East Conference Tournament. The Hilltoppers have claimed a runner-up finish in each of the past two years, trailing only Fairmont State University. As a result, it is safe to say that the Lady Toppers are looking forward to clinching a MEC Championship. The season does not end here with the NCATA Nationals held in Eugene, Oregon on the campus of Division I Baylor University following.

If you have not been able to experience the impressive feats of the WLU Acrobatics and Tumbling team, do so, as the incredible talents of this group is something fantastic to witness!