Saturday, January 30, 2016

NCEA Scoreboard: Saturday, January 30

No. 8 South Carolina 16, UT-Martin 3
No. 2 Georgia 10, No. 4 Texas A&M 9
No. 1 Auburn 15, No. 3 Baylor 5

No. 1 Auburn Bests No. 3 Baylor 15-5

The No. 1 Auburn equestrian team returned to competition Saturday, hosting No. 3 Baylor and came away with a convincing 15-5 victory over the Bears at the Auburn University Horse Center. With the win, the Tigers improved to 6-1 on the season.

"From the beginning of the season, I knew we were good and we really showed that today," head coach Greg Williams said. "This is an extremely talented group and they competed with a lot of emotion."

A trio of Tiger freshmen earned MOP honors on the day in Ashton Alexander, Caitlin Boyle and Ali Fratessa. Alexander, competing in her first meet as a Tiger, was honored on Equitation over Fences, while Boyle secured her first-career MOP award on Equitation on the Flat. Fratessa's came in Reining and was also her first-career honor.

"This sport keeps getting better and better and it showed today," Williams said. "All the MOPs were freshmen and it's exciting to know we're going to be good for a long time."

The Tigers took a commanding 8-2 lead into halftime, winning Horsemanship and Equitation over Fences. The Horsemanship riders picked up four wins for Auburn with junior Hannah Stephens earning the first point in a 72-69.5 win over Aspen Crew. Senior Griffin Knight picked up her sixth win in Horsemanship this season with a 72-62.5 victory over Kaylee Mellott. Freshman Lauren Diaz bested Mary Brown, 74-73, while senior Hannah Loseke capped things off with a 73.5-72.5 win over Charlotte Green.

The Hunt Seat riders took Equitation over Fences with a 4-1 victory. Alexander opened the event with her first-career win, defeating Savanah Jenkins, 87-68. Senior Elizabeth Benson earned her sixth win this season in the event with a tight 85-84 win over Brittney Mirkov. Freshman Hayley Iannotti scored an 86 to give the Tigers another point in the event and classmate Boyle finished with an 88-78 win over Alicia Gasser.

After intermission, Auburn bested Baylor in Equitation on the Flat, winning the event 3-2. Boyle picked up the Tigers' first point with a convincing 89-78 victory. Benson followed with an 85-81 win over Rachel Van Allen, while junior Tory Hoft secured a 83-77 victory over Paige Parker.

The Reining crew put together stellar performances, defeating Baylor 4-1. Knight earned a decisive 72-64 win over Charlotte Green, while sophomore Alexa Rivard defeated Ginger Chant, 72.5-67.5. Senior Haily Munger continued the winning ways with a 72-69.5 victory over her Baylor opponent and Fratessa closed out with a 75.5-66 win over Michelina Carbone.

No. 2 Georgia Defeats No. 4 Texas A&M In Close Meet

The No. 2 ranked Georgia equestrian team defeated No. 4 Texas A&M 10-9 Saturday afternoon at the Hildebrand Equine Complex. With the win, Georgia improves to 6-1 on the season with a 3-1 mark in Southeastern Conference competition.

“It was an exciting day,” Georgia head coach Meghan Boenig said. “There were a lot a great rides, leaving competition neck and neck. This was a perfect test moving forward as we continue to push things and eliminate errors. I’m very proud of this team for continuing to fight until the end and being able to come out with the win in the last event.”

To begin competition, Georgia won two points, dropping three to Texas A&M in Equitation Over Fences. Texas A&M’s Haley Webster took the first point over Leylan Gleeson 86-81. Georgia grabbed the next two points with Addy Cord and Meg O’Mara outscoring their opponents 81-70 and 85-83, respectively. The final two points of the event went to Texas A&M in close matchups. Alex Desiderio grabbed a point from Alex Maracic 80-79 before Marlena Parker edged Liza Finsness 82-81.

In Horsemanship, Texas A&M defeated Georgia 3-2. The Aggies took the first three points of the event. Carolyn Day defeated Rachel Kolb 73.5-69 before Avery Ellis outscored Bailey Anderson 77.5-75. Kaci Fisher took the next point over Madison Anger 76-75. Georgia won the final two points in Horsemanship with Heather Schmidt outscoring Rachel Lucht 75-71.5 and Graysen Stroud edging Logan Pluhar 75.5-74.

Georgia trailed Texas A&M 6-4 after two events.

Georgia started their comeback in Equitation on the Flat. The Bulldogs won the first three points of the event, giving the final two to the Aggies. Madison Newman took the first point for Georgia over Parker with a score of 76-72. Cord grabbed the next one, outscoring Desiderio 76-73 before Finsness edged Hannah Williams 84-83. Anna Rea outscored Gleeson 83-78, winning a point for Texas A&M and Audrey Gallagher grabbed the final point from O’Mara 79-75.

Down by one, Georgia sealed the comeback win in Reining. Georgia won the first three points with Lauren Garmon and Stroud outscoring their opponents 72.5-0 and 71-69.5, respectively, before Kyndall Harper defeated Jaci Marley 73.5-71. Charley Thiel and Pluhar rode to a tie with a score of 72. The final point went to Texas A&M with Ashley Dotson outscoring Claudia Spreng 73.5-70.5.

“I think we’re in a good place, but there is always room to improve and build,” Boenig said. “That’s exactly what we plan to do before our competition next weekend.”

South Carolina Opens Spring With 16-3 Win Over UT-Martin

No. 8 South Carolina kicked off the spring portion of its schedule on Saturday with a 16-3 victory over Tennessee-Martin at One Wood Farm. The Gamecocks improved to 3-5 overall, while the Skyhawks drop to 1-5.

"I'm very proud of the way we rode today and happy to get back in the win column," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "Even though we didn't have the greatest record during the fall semester, the girls never gave up and continued to work hard and that says a lot about this team. We saw a lot of things to be happy with and we also see some areas that we can work on this week in practice as we get ready to face a tough Georgia team next weekend."

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