All-MEC Honors for Hilltopper Quartet
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Four members of the West Liberty University acrobatics & tumbling team were honored Thursday as the Mountain East Conference coaches released the 2021 All-MEC team.
Lexus Ficca, Kenzie Kyle, and Sydney Schumacher earned first-team All-MEC honors for Coach Kelsey Kyle’s Hilltoppers while Alavia Anderson was a second-team selection in the league-wide coaches’ balloting.
Ficca, a senior base and tumbler from Weirton, W.Va., was a major factor in WLU’s success in five of the six events. She helped set program highs in all five events, including the individual open tumbling pass when she scored a 9.325 against Glenville State. Ficca also earned NCATA National Athlete of the Week honorable mention and MEC Athlete of the Week honors after a convincing road win at West Virginia Wesleyan.
Kyle, a senior base from Parsons, W.Va., was one of the busiest Hilltoppers this season. A key figure in every Acro and Pyramid heat, her specialty skills in basing helped set multiple program records, highlighted by a near-perfect 9.95 in the Inversion Pyramid heat against Davis & Elkins. Kyle also earned MEC Athlete of the Week honors following the Hilltoppers’ record-setting 266.396-254.240 win at Glenville State.
Schumacher, a junior base from Elkins, W.Va., was a major contributor in five out of the six events. The impressive veteran helped lead WLU to several high-level scores this season, including 7-Element Acro (9.85), Inversion Pyramid (9.95), and Sync Pyramid (9.85). Schumacher earned MEC Athlete of the Week Honors after leading WLU to an impressive season-opening victory against Davis & Elkins.
Anderson, a senior top and tumbler from New Martinsville, W.Va., helped the Black and Gold post program records in the Acro, Pyramid, and Toss events where she serves as the top for each event. She was an honorable mention selection as NCATA National Specialist of the Week after the big win at Glenville State.
“We are all so proud of our four student-athletes who earned All-Conference accolades,” Coach Kyle said. “They’ve given their all every day and played key roles in our success to date. I know they will continue to do so this weekend at the conference tournament.”
Nationally-ranked Fairmont State swept the MEC’s major awards after going unbeaten in league play for the second consecutive season. The Falcons’ Alexis Smith was the MEC Athlete of the Year while Ansley Froman earned Specialist of the Year honors and Kathryn Koehl was chosen as MEC Freshman of the Year. Danielle Cutri was voted MEC Coach of the year after leading Fairmont State to a No. 8 national ranking.
The Lady Hilltoppers earned the No. 2 seed heading into the MEC Championships, which starts Friday in Fairmont. West Liberty will take on No. 3 seed Glenville State in a noon semifinal match at Joe Retton Arena. Top seed and defending champion Fairmont State hosts Frostburg State in the other semifinal at 4 p.m.
The WLU head coach left no doubt about her team’s goal for the weekend event.
“We’ve made some changes, practiced hard, and are absolutely ready to go,” Coach Kyle said. “If we go down there and compete to the best of our ability, I’m confident we will bring the MEC title back to the Hilltop!”
ACROBATICS & TUMBLING
2021 All-Mountain East Conference Team
MEC Athlete of the Year: Alexis Smith (Fairmont State)
MEC Specialist of the Year: Ansley Froman (Fairmont State)
MEC Freshman of the Year: Kathryn Koehl (Fairmont State)
MEC Coach of the Year: Danielle Cutri (Fairmont State)
Davis & Elkins
Davis & Elkins
Davis & Elkins