WLU Acro and Tumbling celebrates Senior Night



Acrobatics and Tumbling celebrate the careers of 10 seniors.

West Liberty’s Acrobatics and Tumbling team were handed a 258.820-247.915 loss by Frostburg State on Saturday afternoon in the ASRC. The Hilltoppers now hold a 4-2 in-conference record, leaving them tied in second place with the Bobcats heading into the Mountain East Conference Tournament next weekend.

After winning four straight games to start the season, the Toppers have since been on the receiving end of four tough defeats. This game came off the back of three consecutive meets against nationally-ranked opponents, so WLU were looking to get back on track with a win against Frostburg, which unfortunately turned out not to be the case.

West Liberty managed to put up their third-highest score of the season but it wasn’t their night as the Bobcats score of 258 matched their season-high and was one of the highest in their short two-year history. They took narrow wins in all six events on the night and took a 10 point win from the Hilltoppers.

Head Coach Kelsey Kyle’s squad was plagued with illness and injury coming into this meet, forcing her into making a number of changes to the lineup for Saturday’s performance. “I think we had to make changes in 16 of the 20 heats this week,” Kyle said to Hilltopper Sports. “Obviously, that’s not what you want to be doing at this stage of the season but I’m incredibly proud of the way our team came together and rallied around each other.”

Frostburg got off to a quick start in the Compulsory Event, taking a 35.10-34.60 win, with a low-scoring 7.10 in the tumbling heat letting WLU down. The home team performed well in the first two heats of the Acro Event before a missed skill in the third gave them a score of 8.10, which handed them a one-point loss in the second event. The Toppers looked to be gathering momentum in the Pyramid Event, scoring at least 9.0 in all three heats, but the Bobcats’ relentless performances continued as they scored a near-perfect 29.00 to take their third win in as many events, giving themselves a 3.10 lead at half time.

The Hilltoppers failed to score above 8.75 in the Toss Event giving the Bobcats another event win, which was highlighted by a 9.60 in the third heat. The high scoring continued for the visitors as they posted a 2.825 win in the Tumbling Event. The meet concluded with the Team Event, where the weakened Toppers gave a good account of themselves, scoring 83.29, however, this wasn’t quite enough as their opponents scored an impressive 87.07 to secure the win.

“I’m proud of all the girls for the way they stepped up for the team today,” said Kyle to Hilltopper Sports. “I’m especially proud of a couple of freshmen, Katie Emborsky and Gillian Hartz. They were both thrown into the fire, competing in a number of events they had never competed in before and they really came through for us.”

As this was their final home meet of the season, West Liberty took the chance to celebrate their 10 seniors, and head coach Kyle was keen to acknowledge each of their contributions to the program. “Just an awesome group of young women,” Kyle said to Hilltopper Sports. “Some of them were here when I got here, some came in with me and some have only been here for a couple of years but they’re the ones who took this program from Ground Zero to where we are now, drawing national recognition and competing for conference championships. They will always be super special to me.”

The Hilltoppers will now go on to compete in the conference tournament semi-finals on Friday, alongside the Bobcats. Both teams have a 4-2 conference record and sit behind nationally-ranked Fairmont State, who have been crowned the regular season champions and the #1 seed in the tournament, as a result of their 6-0 conference record.

For more information and to follow their progress in the MEC tournament, visit hilltoppersports.com.