No. 4 Tigers Pick Up 12-7 Road Win at No. 2 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 4 Auburn equestrian team concluded the regular season in style, picking up a 12-7 victory over No. 2 Texas A&M on the road in College Station, Texas. The Tigers improved to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
"We knew we had turned the corner and now are very close to having it all put together," head coach Greg Williams said. "I'm incredibly proud of my entire staff, particularly Coach Jessica Braswell and Coach Mary Meneely. We are all thankful for a group of student-athletes that leaned on each other and formed a tight knit, winning team. We are now ready for postseason work!"
With the finish, Auburn will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming SEC Championships. The two-day tournament will be held at the Auburn University Equestrian Center, March 24-25, and admission is free. Georgia will be the No. 1 seed, while Texas A&M and South Carolina come in at Nos. 3 and 4.
The Tigers kicked things off in Equitation Over Fences as the squad put together a 3-2 victory over the Aggies. Sophomore Caitlin Boyle earned her second MOP nod of the weekend, topping Alex Desiderio, 87-72. Senior Ashley Foster captured her team-leading 11th win of the year in the event, defeating Haley Webster 83-70. Sophomore Alex Ladove continued to excel in the spring season, taking an 80-74 victory to remain undefeated at 5-0.
The Auburn reiners had a solid showing against TAMU and finished the second event of the day in a tie, 2-2. Sophomore Betsy Brown earned her third-straight victory, edging her opponent with a 70-69.5 score. Classmate Lauren Diaz also finished with a tight win as she beat Jaci Marley, 68.5-68. Junior Alexa Rivard recorded her second-consecutive score in the 70s, tying Sarah McEntire, 73-73.
Auburn's Hunt Seat corps finished their solid day with a 4-1 victory in Equitation on the Flat. Sophomore Ashton Alexander earned MOP honors after scoring an event-high 84 points on the day. Boyle followed with an 80-76 win over Desiderio, while Foster captured an 83-79 victory. Sophomore Hayley Iannotti capped the event with another 80-point showing, scoring an 83 to beat Maddie Swem's 76.
The Tigers needed one more point heading into Horsemanship as the squad held a 9-6 lead.
Senior Hannah Stephens put together another 75-point score in the second match of the event, sealing the team victory with a 75-71.5 win over Bailey Cook. Diaz followed with 75.5 points in her individual win to earn MOP and classmate Megan Rauh capped the day with a 74.5-74 victory over Rachel Lucht. Junior Kelsey Jung set a career-best total of 75.5 points in the opening match, but was edged by Avery Ellis with 76 points.
Gamecocks Drop SMU, 14-5, to Close Regular Season
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — The University of South Carolina equestrian team ended the 2016-17 regular season in victorious fashion on Saturday as they took down SMU, 14-5 at One Wood Farm. With the victory, the Gamecocks head into the postseason with a 6-6 record.
Three Gamecocks earned MOP honors on Saturday, as Madison Butehorn (equitation over fences), Lauren Fabiano (equitation on the flat) and Bailey Mierzejewski (horsemanship) all grabbed top honors. In addition, the Gamecocks honored nine seniors prior to their final home meet: Mierzejewski, Courtney Allen, Makayla Clegg, Kara Guertin, Ashley Reichert, Lindsey Slack, Sydney Smith, Madeline Valenzuela and Amelia Vernon.
SMU is now 5-5 after the setback.
QUOTING HEAD COACH BOO MAJOR
"I think we did what we were trying to do, which is get everything to come together. As I always say, we'll have some mistakes here and there, but most of our mistakes today were very minimal. As a whole, the girls rode great. They stuck to it through the whole day. No one seemed to get complacent. I think that was one of the reasons we ended up on top. We were very happy with how things turned out today, and I can't think of another group that's more deserving than our girls."
The Gamecocks dominated horsemanship, winning all five of the points. Reichert defeated Hannah McCain on Paddy, 74.5-73, and Megan Overberg followed with a 67.5-65.5 triumph over Michaela Dinger on Barbie. Paige Stopperich won her point on Bubbles, 70.5-66, over Morgan Redwine, and Madison Thiel rode Caper to a 74-72 victory over Kelsey Karanges. In the final point, Mierzejewski knocked off Ashley Mauney, 75-74, on Reggie.
In her final home meet at One Wood Farm, Mierzejewski earned MOP accolades for the first time this season. It is her third career top honor.
EQUITATION ON THE FLAT RECAP
Three Carolina riders won their points on the flat. Smith was a 79-69 winner over Haley Zimmerman on Eddie, and Fabiano scored an 86-80 win on Tattoo over Leina King. The third Gamecock to win was Chloe Schmidt, who took down Nora Gray, 88-79, riding Leon.
Fabiano was named MOP for the third time this season, tops on the Carolina squad in equitation on the flat.
EQUITATION OVER FENCES RECAP
Carolina clinched the victory by winning four jumping points. Butehorn edged out Alexis Graves on Eddie, 86-83, and Smith won her final ride at One Wood Farm, 87-84, on Volan over Zimmerman. Lizzie van der Walde took an 88-85 win on Tattoo over Vivian Yowan, and Madison Sellman earned the highest score of the day with a 90-81 win on Leon over Sylvia de Toledo.
Butehorn was named MOP for the fourth time this season. That total leads all Gamecocks in all categories in 2016-17.
Each team picked up two points in reining to close the day. Carolina got a win from Bailey Walters, who earned a 67.5-66 victory on Jack over Keagan Snively, and Paisley Roberts dropped Olivia Pakula, 68-66.5, on Puffin.
MOP honors went to SMU's Jaclyn White.
- South Carolina is now 7-3 all-time against the Mustangs with a 3-0 mark at One Wood Farm.
- Sellman won for the seventh time this season in jumping, tops on the team, while Schmidt ends the regular season with a team-high eight flat wins.
- Mierzejewski and Overberg end the regular season leading the club with six points in horsemanship.
- Freshman Caroline Gute, who finished in a tie on Saturday, ended the regular season with a team-high eight reining victories.
- Allen won her horsemanship exhibition over Hannah McCain, 74.5-73, while Vernon won her flat exhibition over Alexandra Murphy, 80-68.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks will be the No. 4 seed in the 2017 SEC Championship, which will be held March 24-25 in Auburn Ala. Carolina's first-round opponent is yet to be determined. Major's team won the first two official SEC titles, in 2013 and 2014.
After the conference meet, Carolina is on to the NCEA National Championship, which will be held April 13-15 in Waco, Texas.
Reed Has Career Day as Cowgirls Ride Past New Mexico State, 10-5
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State Equestrian team defeated No. 10 New Mexico State, 10-5, on Saturday at the New Mexico State Equestrian Center.
Senior Miranda Reed led the Cowgirl western team with a career-high score of 77.5 in her Horsemanship matchup. Reed defeated NMSU's Katlynn Crine, 77.5-74. OSU would go on to win Horsemanship, 2-1.
OSU was once again dominant in Equitation on the Flat as Maggie Drysch, Jorden Davis and Kendall Pedigo all won their points to take the event, 3-1. Drysch won the MOP honor for the event, her second-consecutive MOP for Equitation on the Flat.
Katie Jones and Drysch shined for the Cowgirls in Equitation over Fences, defeating their opponents, 73.5-73 and 75-71, respectively. OSU would go on to tie the Aggies in Equitation over Fences, 2-2.
Hannah Mitchell highlighted the Reining discipline once again with a victory and a career-high score of 75.5. Mitchell won her fourth-consecutive MOP honor as the Cowgirls would take Reining, 3-1, as OSU also got victories from Danielle Cohen and Ebba Lange.
"I am very proud of our team today," said OSU head coach Larry Sanchez. "They are riding at a high level, are very supportive of each other and are a classy group of young ladies. Like I said, I am very proud."
Next up, the Cowgirls head home to honor their seniors and host their final home meet of the season against Fresno State on March 11 at Totusek Arena.