University Cheerleading Team Ranked Fifth in Nation for Division I All Girl
The University Cheerleading team competed in the UCA College Nationals on January 18-20, 2013, in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World Resorts. This was the University’s first time competing on a national level and they are currently fifth in the nation for Division 1 All Girl.
Senior captain Stefanie Mastbeth is sad to leave the team after being a member for the past four years. “I’m so proud of my team for making history at Monmouth and being the first competitive team. Our first time at UCA Nationals and placing fifth in the nation was such an amazing accomplishment. I’m honored that I am able to say that I helped the program advance into the competitive world and I cannot wait to see their future endeavors.”
Courtney Ball, head coach, said, “We have plans to compete again next year, and hope to be as successful if not more successful despite the fact that the competition level will be higher. I am very excited for next year because we can continue to grow and progress with the talent we have developed this year.”
Danielle Murray, sophomore and health studies major, said, “I am extremely excited about what next year holds for the team. We are all dedicated to going back to Florida and doing even better than this year. Our team has come so far in the last few years and I can’t wait to see the program grow in the next few.”
When asked to comment on the past season, Ball said, “I think overall we had a very successful season. We have a young team, so we had to spend some time teaching them the fundamentals from a collegiate standpoint.”
“The seniors leaving this year have helped this team and I grow in so many ways. They have taught us to fight for what we believe in,” said Murray. “Going to nationals this year and placing fifth in the nation was a huge accomplishment for our program and each of us individually, and I am so proud to be a part of the team that they ended their cheerleading careers with.”
Out of the 22 girls on the team, three of them are seniors and will be graduating this May. The three seniors, Johnna Malter, Stefanie Mastbeth, and Danielle Trancucci, were all also the team captains.
When asked how the seniors have influenced and motivated Murray, she added, “The senior captains have taught me personally what leadership is all about. They’ve shown me what it takes to bring the team together and become a family; but most importantly, they’ve taught me that hard work comes a long way.”
Alyssa Guzman, freshman, commented on how easy the adjustment was coming from the high school level to cheer at a Division I school. “Coming from high school cheering to the college level, I had a lot to learn, but the team here at Monmouth was great and I was able to adjust easier than I thought,” said Guzman. “Now, at the end of the season, we are like a family—everyone brings something special to the team, especially the three seniors that I will miss so much next year.”
Senior and captain, Danielle Trancucci, said that she was very happy to be a part of the cheerleading program for all four years of her college career. “I am so proud of all our accomplishments especially making it to finals in nationals this year. This program has come a long way and we all have displayed the true meaning of what a team is. I have made so many memories that I will never forget and could not have asked for a better senior year.”
Ball is sad to see her seniors leave, but is also hopeful for the future of the team. “As far as my seniors, I am going to miss them terribly. Johnna, Stefanie and Danielle have been with me since I started coaching at the University and they have truly helped to push this program to the next level,” said Ball. “I could not have asked for more determination, commitment and perseverance from the three of them. Their spots will be incredibly difficult to fill, but I am confident that they have left their teammates with the tools to be successful next year. I wish them nothing but the best in the next step of their lives and have no question of their continued success.”
The University Cheerleading Team will be hosting tryouts for the 2013-2014 season on April 27 and 28 starting at 9:00 am in Boylan gymnasium. In order to make the team, there are a few requirements that each participant must be able to perform.
It is required that potential team members must have their standing back handspring, a running tumbling pass, and a toe touch back handspring. The cheer and dance segment will be taught at tryouts.
For more information, contact Courtney Ball at email@example.com.
PHOTO COURTESY of Johnna Malter