No. 4 Auburn with 17-2 Win Over UT Martin on Senior Day
AUBURN, Ala. — The No. 4 Auburn equestrian team closed out its home schedule Saturday, hosting UT Martin at the Auburn University Horse Center. The Tigers defeated the Skyhawks, 17-2, and improved to 5-3 on the season.
"We know we have a lot to prove and I think this team did that today," head coach Greg Williams said. "Today was a great confidence builder and we know we still have work to do. We close out the year with a handful of tough road trips and this was definitely the way we wanted to start the final stretch before the post season."
With it being the final home meet of the regular season, the Tigers honored their six seniors prior to the start of competition. Caroline Becker, Ashley Foster, Lena Hernig, Tory Hoft, Jacqueline Shilen, and Hannah Stephens were recognized for their contributions to the program.
"Senior Day is always so special," Williams said. "The work that this group has put in shows that they want to leave Auburn a better place than when they started. I'm really proud of them."
The Tigers opened the first half of the day with an 8-2 lead at the conclusion of Equitation Over Fences and Horsemanship as each event went 4-1 overall.
Foster was awarded MOP honors for her ride in Fences, picking up 84 points the win. It was her second MOP in the event this year and the win pushed her to 8-1 on the season. Sophomores Ashton Alexander, Alex Ladove, and Caitlin Boyle added points to the Tigers score as they all earned wins in the discipline.
Sophomore Megan Rauh put together the day's best ride in Horsemanship, securing 75 points in her win over Madeline Williams. The Carmel, Ind., product was named MOP for the second time this season and improved to 6-2 on the year. Freshman Kara Kaufmann's 71.5-71 victory helped her remain undefeated in the event (7-0-1), while Stephens picked up her fifth win of the year with 70.5 points. Sophomore Lauren Diaz added a point in the win column as she edged Liana Nowak, 72.5-72.
Following intermission, Auburn went undefeated in both Equitation on the Flat and Reining to secure the big win.
The Flat crew swept the Skyhawks as Boyle kicked things off with a tight 75-74 win over Claire Ottinger. The remaining four Tiger riders score 80+ points in their matches as Foster topped Randi LaChance, 86-79. Alexander followed with an 85-66 victory, while classmate Hayley Iannotti was awarded MOP honors after topping her opponent, 83-74. Hoft capped the day for Hunt Seat with 87 points in her win, improving to 8-1 on the year.
The Tiger Reiners put together solid rides all day as sophomore Blair McFarlin led the charge, taking MOP honors with a 71-69 win. Junior Alexa Rivard picked up her team-leading sixth victory, 69-64. Senior Lena Hernig, competing for a team point for the first time, earned big cheers from the team as she won her match, 65.5-64. Diaz edged Bobbie Piddock, 66.5-66, while sophomore Ali Fratessa followed with a 72-72 tie.
Auburn concludes the regular season with a tough road slate beginning with an SEC meet at South Carolina, Feb. 25. The Tigers close things out in Texas, facing No. 1 Baylor (March 3) and No. 2 Texas A&M (March 4).
Bulldogs sweep top-ranked teams, Dixon, Swaffar earn MOPs
FRESNO, Calif. — The Fresno State equestrian team completed its home sweep of top-ranked teams on Saturday at the Fresno State Animal Science Pavilion when the Bulldogs defeated No. 5 SMU, 10-9, one day after taking down No. 1 Baylor on Friday.
The Bulldogs (7-4) fell to SMU, 15-4, last weekend in Texas and were defeated in the fall by Baylor.
Fresno State came out ahead in reining (3-2) and horsemanship (3-2), while breaking even in equitation on the flat (2-2). The Mustangs owned advantage in equitation over fences (3-2).
Bulldog Sierra Swaffar earned the MOP honor in equitation on the flat, her second this season, and Taylor Dixon was named MOP in horsemanship, her first of the year.
Fresno State next hosts Georgia on March 3 at the Fresno State Student Horse Center when the Bulldogs will celebrate their seniors.