Auburn Advances to SEC Final with 11-9 Win over Texas A&M
AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn equestrian team put together a nail-biting victory on the opening day of the 2017 SEC Championship as the No. 2 seed Tigers topped No. 3 seed Texas A&M, 11-9, early Friday at the Auburn University Horse Center.
With the win, the Tigers (9-3) advanced to the SEC final and will take on Georgia at 9 a.m. CT. The championship match was moved to the morning because of possible severe weather tomorrow afternoon. The two teams will ride in a rematch of last year's championship final where Auburn captured its first SEC title with an 11-7 victory.
"Texas A&M is a great team and we knew this was going to be a battle," head coach Greg Williams said. We have to stay lose and be ready for Saturday. I've very proud of this team and proud of coaches. We're happy to move on."
The two teams rode to a 5-5 tie after the first two events. Auburn's Equitation Over Fences crew edged the Aggies with a 3-2 win in the discipline and was led by sophomore Hayley Iannotti's MOP-winning ride. The Wellington, Fla., product picked up her sixth win of the year in Fences, defeating Alex Desiderio, 173-155.
Sophomore Ashton Alexander won her eighth Fences match this season after she topped Kai Devoglaer, 167-146. Classmate Caitlin Boyle earned the team's last point in the event, defeating Haley Webster, 165-152.
In Horsemanship, Auburn was led by junior Kelsey Jung and sophomore Lauren Diaz. Jung earned a pair of 77s from both judges and defeated Avery Ellis, 154-146. Her score of 77 was a career best for the Farmington, Utah, product. Diaz, a sophomore from Heath, Ohio, won her eighth match of the season as she topped Rachel Lucht, 152.5-146.5.
The Tigers saw big rides from their Equitation On The Flat corps as the squad went 4-1 over the Aggies. Senior Ashley Foster garnered MOP honors as she led all student-athletes with a 160, besting Desiderio's 130. Iannotti's 156 points beat Anna Rea's 138, while Alexander earned a 147 for her Flat ride to win. Boyle closed things out with a 157, defeating Maddie Swem's 133.
Auburn held a 9-6 advantage heading into Reining, needing just two points to clinch. TAMU opened with a pair of wins to cut the Tiger lead at 9-8, but junior Alexa Rivard put had a great ride for AU and earned a 142.5 to win her match. Sophomore Betsy Brown sealed the deal for the Tigers, scoring a 143.5 to beat Sarah Kate Grider's 142 and giving Auburn its 11th point of the day.
Georgia Advances, Will Face Auburn for SEC Title
AUBURN, Ala. — For the fourth-straight year, the Georgia equestrian team has advanced to the final round of the SEC Championship after defeating South Carolina, 13-7, at the Auburn University Horse Center on Friday afternoon. Georgia will face Auburn for the SEC Championship Title on Saturday.
Friday's win also marked the program's 150th NCEA dual-meet victory with a current all-time record of 150-47. Georgia improves to 10-4 on the season.
Earlier today, Auburn defeated Texas A&M, 11-9, to advance to the championship. Georgia and Auburn will ride off for the title on Saturday, March 25. Due to the threat of inclement weather, the championship round will be held at 9 a.m. It was previously scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Highlighting the meet was Bailey Anderson (Horsemanship), Liza Finsness (Equitation on the Flat), and Meg O'Mara (Equitation Over Fences) who earned MOP honors for their rides.
"Today was a very good day," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "Not only did we see a lot of strong rides, we saw a lot of high scoring rides. Our riders came out today with something they wanted to show and it was reflected in the scores. We had 90's pop up in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences more than once, which shows tremendous effort and leadership. The domination in Horsemanship, and having our Reiners pull things out is incredible to see. Having said that, we have to come back and do it tomorrow again. Our hype is unstoppable and we have to go prove that again."
Georgia earned the first eight points of the meet with scores rolling in from both Equitation Over Fences and Horsemanship events.
In Equitation Over Fences, Georgia jumped to a 4-1 advantage. Maddy Darst claimed the first point for the Bulldogs with a 159-134 victory over Sydney Smith, before Emma Mandarino rode to a 166-134 victory over Madison Butehorn. Sydney Hutchins matched Mandarino's score to win the next point for the Bulldogs, bettering Chloe Schmidt's 127. Meg O'Mara earned MOP honors with a 180-142 win over Lizzie van der Walde.
In Horsemanship, the Bulldogs defeated the Gamecocks, 4-1. Graysen Stroud earned the first Western point of the day with a 152-148.5 victory over Madison Thiel. Sammie Johnson rode to a 152.5-151 victory, before Madison Anger claimed the next point, 150-133.5. Bailey Anderson earned MOP honors after a 156-149 win over South Carolina's Paige Stopperich.
Georgia led South Carolina 8-2 after two events.
Georgia edged South Carolina, 3-2, in Equitation on the Flat. South Carolina claimed the first point, before Georgia won the next three. Madison Newman rode to a 141-128 defeat of Lizzie van der Walde, before Meg O'Mara earned a point with a 160. Liza Finsness rode to an MOP-earning score of 172 to top Madison Sellman's 130.
South Carolina took the advantage in Reining, 3-2. Lindsey Cheek defeated Madison Thiel 138.5-137, before Kyndall Harper beat her opponent, 143-140.5, to claim points for the Bulldogs.
Saturday's matchup between Georgia and Auburn will mark the their time the teams have competed this season. For the sixth time in program history, Georgia swept Auburn in regular season competition. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers, 11-7, at home in Bishop on Nov. 11, 2016, before beating Auburn, 10-8, on the road on Feb. 11.
Baylor Wins Opening Round of Big 12 Championship
WACO, Texas — No. 1 Baylor equestrian grinded out a 10-9 win over No. 3 TCU in the first round of the Big 12 Equestrian Championship on Friday afternoon at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
The Bears now control their own destiny, facing Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 25, at approximately 1 p.m for the conference championship.
The opening round between the Bears and the Horned Frogs started with fences and reining, with Baylor working out to a 6-4 lead with 3-2 wins in both events.
In fences, Savannah Jenkins, Kelsie Brittan, and Shannon Hogue all notched points for the Bears. Using the two-judge, dual-scoring format, Jenkins posted a meet-high 173.
In reining, Ginger Chant, Elizabeth Shank, and Charlotte Green took the scores for BU. Green led all riders in the discipline with a 143.
Fighting off a rain and lightning delay, the teams resumed competition to close with flat and horsemanship.
The two events finished at nearly the same time, with BU falling 1-3 in horsemanship but taking the 3-2 edge in flat.
Baylor held a slim 9-8 lead with three riders remaining, two in flat and one in horsemanship.
The Bears and Horned Frogs split the two flat points and forced a tie on the horsemanship ride, clinching the 10-9 victory for BU.
In flat, Savannah Jenkins, Samantha Howell, and Rachel Van Allen notched the points for BU, with Howell’s 164 leading the way for the Bears.
In horsemanship, Aspen Crew took the lone point for the Bears, with Kaylee Mellott forcing the tie that clinched the win on the final ride.
Baylor faces Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 25, at approximately 1 p.m., with the winner claiming the 2017 Big 12 Equestrian Championship title.
SMU Advances To UEC Championship Following 11-3 Rout Of Tennessee-Martin
HARRINGTON, Del. — The No. 2-seeded SMU equestrian team advanced to the final round of the United Equestrian Conference Championship after defeating No. 3-seeded University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM), 11-3, at the Quillen Arena on the Delaware State Fairgrounds Friday.
"It was a good day overall," SMU head coach Carol Gwin said. "There is still room for improvement, but a great stepping stone to tomorrow."
With a 4-3 lead, SMU (7-5) won the last seven points of the meet with scores from both Horsemanship and Equitation on the Flat to seal the victory.
SMU posted a clean-sweep in Horsemanship to seal the victory. Senior Morgan Redwine claimed the first point of the discipline with a 146-142.5 victory over Jade Bleskey, before Ashley Mauney knocked off Brittany Woodard, 143.5-141.5. Michaela Dinger recorded a 139 to best Liana Nowak, 139-137.5, before Hannah McCain closed out the event with a 129.5-128.5 edge over Bobbie Piddock.
With an 8-3 lead over the Skyhawks, the Mustangs won Equitation on the Flat, 3-0, to close the meet. Sylvia de Toledo topped Randi LaChance, 124-121, to open the event. Following a 126-126 tie by Vivian Yowan, Leina King improved to 6-1 on the season with a 133-124 win over Claire Ottinger. Nora Gray knocked off Monika Zoromski, 123-109, to round off the day.
Earlier in the day, SMU jumped out to a 3-1 lead following Equitation Over Fences. Gray bested Zoromski, 151-141, before Yowan posted a 163-131 rout over Ally Scholfield. de Toledo secured the discipline win, besting LaChance, 122-60.
Tennessee-Martin edged SMU, 2-1, in reining. Keagan Snively defeated Madeline Williams, 143.5-142.5, to earn SMU's lone point.
With the win, SMU advanced to the UEC Championship for the second time in program history. The Mustangs will take on host-school Delaware State at 9 a.m. ET/8 CT.
‘Dogs fall, 8-7, to Delaware State in UEC Championships
HARRINGTON, Del. — The No. 1-seeded Fresno State equestrian team competed in the United Equestrian Conference Championships on Friday and fell to No. 4-seeded Delaware State, 8-7, at the state fairgrounds in Harrington, Delaware.
The Bulldogs previously faced the Hornets last October and came out with an 8-7 victory.
Fresno State saw a fair match with Delaware State in equitation over fences, finishing with two points each. Kylina Chalack and Natalie Wendt earned points for the Bulldogs in this ride.
Alexandra Dirickson and Kylina Chalack earned points for Fresno State in the equitation on the flat ride, as the Bulldogs and Hornets tied 2-2 for a second event.
Fresno State took a 2-1 lead in horsemanship thanks to points by Taylor Dixon and Taeya Harle.
Delaware State earned their winning points in reining, where Fresno State fell 3-1, earning the solo point from Paige Barton.
Fresno State will face No. 3-seeded University of Tennessee-Martin on Saturday at 6 a.m. PT in Harrington, Delaware for the consolation bracket of the UEC Championships.