Saturday, October 24, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. - The No. 7 Texas A&M equestrian team emerged unblemished in a southern California weekend double-header against Fresno State and New Mexico State.
The first meet of the double-header was a commanding victory by Texas A&M over New Mexico State, 14-1, as an A&M rider was crowned MVP in all four disciplines.
Texas A&M claimed the hunter seat portion by a score of 6-1. In equitation on the flat, junior Anna Rea and senior Marlena Parker scored both of A&M's points. Rea was awarded MVP honors for her event-high score of 80.
Equitation over fences resulted in a 4-0 shutout by the Aggies. Marlena Parker took her second victory of the day, a 75-72 win over NMSU's Karianna Knezevich. Sophomores Rachel Hake and Alex Desiderio each earned a point for their rides while junior Haley Webster scored an event-high 83 for the point and MVP honors.
Texas A&M completed the shutout in western, 8-0. In horsemanship, juniors Rachel Lucht and Kaci Fisher each tallied a point for their rides, with Fisher being awarded MVP honors. Sophomore Avery Ellis and senior Logan Pluhar ended the event with victories.
Texas A&M's western team wrapped up the shutout with a 4-0 victory in reining. Sophomore Jaci Marley took a point with a 68-66 victory. Pluhar won her second event of the day, edging NMSU's Jaimie Story 69-68.5. Seniors Hanna Jechow and Ashley Dotson rounded out the event with point-winning rides. Dotson was awarded MVP for her 71.5 performance.
The Aggies rested up for a short time before taking on their second opponent of the weekend, Fresno State. The final score of the second meet resulted in a 9-9 tie, but the Aggies prevailed with a 1412.5-1383 tie-breaking score.
The maroon and white hunter seat team fell by a score of 7-2. In equitation on the flat, the Aggies conceded a 3-1 defeat, with Anna Rea scoring the lone Aggie point after a 76-70 defeat of her opponent. Despite losing her point, senior Hannah Williams was awarded MVP for her 75-75 tie with Fresno State's Alexandra Dirickson. Marlena Parker was awarded the only A&M point in equitation over fences after an 82-point ride to beat her opponent's 71.
Texas A&M bounced back with a 7-2 win in the western discipline. In horsemanship, Avery Ellis, Rachel Lucht and senior Carolyn Day each scored a point for the Aggies for a 3-2 win in the event.
Ashley Dotson and sophomore Madison Bohman scored two points for the Aggies for a quick   2-0 lead over the Bulldogs in reining. Logan Pluhar and her opponent each saw difficulties with the horse that they drew and were granted a re-ride. In the meantime, the event's MVP Hannah Jechow won her point with a 73.5-72 victory. In dramatic fashion, Logan Pluhar tied the overall score at 9-9 with a 68-67.5 victory over Fresno State's Taylor Dixon in their re-ride.
With the overall score tied, the Aggies won the tiebreaker by a score of 1412.5-1383. With the win, the Aggies improved to 2-1 on the season.

"I'm really proud of our team today," head coach Tana McKay said. "A very solid win over New Mexico State started the day off on the right foot before our hard fought battle with Fresno State. Winning on the road is always tough, so it was nice to get a road win under our belt before we host a few teams at home."

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