Thursday, October 29, 2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas— The No. 6 Texas A&M equestrian team defeated conference rival No. 4 South Carolina 14-5 on Thursday at the Hildebrand Equine Center on the Texas A&M campus.

The Aggies did not drop a single discipline, winning or tying all four to run away with the victory and improved to 3-1 on the season and 1-1 in SEC competition. The Gamecocks of South Carolina fall to 2-2 and 0-2 in SEC action.

Texas A&M started off quickly with a 4-1 win in equitation over fences. Sophomore Alex Desiderio recorded an MVP-winning performance as she edged South Carolina’s Samantha Smith 85-84 for the meet’s first point. Senior Marlena Parker captured a point with an 83-81 victory. Junior Haley Webster scored a 78 and freshman Rebekah Chenelle recorded a 79 to wrap up the event with point-winning performances.

In the western arena, horsemanship ended in a 2-2 tie. Sophomore Avery Ellis kicked off the event by defeating South Carolina’s Bailey Mierzejewski 71.5-69.5. Senior Carolyn day tied her opponent with a score of 74.5, resulting in a cancellation of the point. Matched up against a tough-to-beat 76, event MVP junior Rachel Lucht provided a stellar 77.5 ride for the point.

The Aggies led the Gamecocks 6-3 going into the equitation on the flat competition. Alex Desiderio captured her second victory of the day with an 82-67 performance over USC’s Raleigh Bacharach. Junior Anna Rea and senior Hannah Williams wrapped up the event with point-winning performances of their own, with Rea scoring a 76 and Williams tying the event-high score of 87. Texas A&M took flat by a score of 3-2.

Texas A&M swept the competition in reining, winning the event 5-0. Event MVP senior Logan Pluhar led the way with the only score above a 70 in the discipline, a 71.5 for the point. Junior Sarah Kate Grider followed with a 69.5-66.5 victory over the Gamecocks’ Bridgett White. Sophomore Madison Bohman recorded a victory with a 68.5 ride. Coming off of a two-MVP winning performance in Fresno last weekend, senior Ashley Dotson took her point with a 69. Senior Hannah Jechow wrapped up the day with a 67-65.5 victory over Bailey Walters.

“I’m really excited about how the girls performed today to come out with a win against a great team like South Carolina; the No. 4 team in the country that has historically been tough to beat,” said Texas A&M head coach Tana McKay. “Hunt seat was great and western continued with the success that they’ve had the past few weeks. We’re ready to work out the little kinks before a tough competition next week against Auburn.”

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