Friday, September 30, 2016

No. 1 Tigers Too Much For UT-Martin in 14-6 Win

MARTIN, Tenn. -- The No. 1 Auburn equestrian earned a 14-6 win on the road, defeating UT Martin at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex Thursday afternoon.

"It feels good to start on the road together and pull off a solid win," head coach Greg Williams said. "We have a couple areas where we made some mistakes, but I really feel good about some of the rides we took losses on. The team is ready to keep going and the coaches are doing a phenomenal job having all the details ready for every meet."

A trio of Tigers earned Most Outstanding Player nods on the day. Freshman Becky Kozma and sophomore Megan Rauh each were awarded the first MOP honor of their careers, coming in Equitation Over Fences and Horsemanship, respectively. Senior Tory Hoft was honored for her performance in Equitation on the Flat.

The Tigers put together a dominating performance to start the meet, going into intermission with a 9-1 lead. The Horsemanship crew had great rides for Auburn and swept the Skyhawks, 5-0. Senior Hannah Stephens opened the day with a 73-69.5 victory and was followed by Rauh's MOP performance as the Carmel, Ind., product topped UTM's Liana Nowak, 75-71. Junior Kelsey Jung and freshman Kara Kaufmann edged both of their opponents as Jung took a 74.5-74 win and Kaufmann won her match, 72.5-72. Sophomore Lauren Diaz capped the event with a 72.5-63.5 victory.

Auburn went 4-1 in Equitation Over Fences to start things off in the Hunt Seat discipline. After UTM took the first point in the event, the Tigers rattled off four-straight victories starting with a 76-37 win from sophomore Caitlin Boyle. Senior Ashley Foster's 86 points gave her the point for Auburn and sophomore Ashton Alexander topped Brooke Lutzi, 83-80. Kozma's MOP ride came in a tight match as the Streamwood, Ill., native defeated Randi LaChance, 92-91.

After the break, the Equitation on the Flat riders came away with a 3-2 mark against the Skyhawks. Junior Caitlin Creel made her meet debut with an 81-75 victory and Foster picked up her second win of the day after besting Monica Zoromski, 82-66. Hoft earned MOP honors after she topped Claire Ottinger, 83-71.

The Reining corps picked up a pair of victories from sophomore Betsy Brown and junior Alexa Rivard. Brown defeated Sami Felts, 69.5-66.5, while Rivard won her match, 70-67.

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