Saturday, March 23, 2019

No. 6 Mustangs Defeat No. 10 Skyhawks 12-4, Advance to UEC Championship Final

One step closer to clinching the conference crown, the defending 2018 UEC Champs, No. 6 SMU, are bound for the UEC Finals, after topping tournament host No. 10 UT Martin 12-4 (2333-2249), Friday at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.

Since the UEC's birth in 2013, six different teams have held the coveted conference title in six years. Each year the victors were also the hosts. With their eighth victory on the season, the Mustangs (8-4, 4-0 UEC) remain undefeated in conference play and break the tradition of the host school taking home the championship title.

Following Friday's victory, the No. 1-seed Mustangs, now, move on to face third-seed No. 9 Fresno State in the UEC Championship final round, taking place this Saturday (March 23) at 10 a.m.

Led by a dominant 4-0 sweep in Horsemanship, the Mustangs rise to a 10-4 record in their all-time series history with The Skyhawks, and look to repeat the conference glory they accomplished last season.

The Mustangs are ranked No. 3 in the nation over fences, the NCEA announced Tuesday in its most recent Event Rankings. Surging out to a strong start, SMU's Hunter Seat squad went 3-1 to win the first event over UT Martin. SMU's fences team has compiled the most Ws for the Red & Blue, with seven total on the season.

Senior team captain Nora Gray won her point over Skyhawk opponent, Kelby Kane, 171-165. Additionally, Gray posted the event-high score (80 & 86), riding Dawson to improve to a 10-2-1 record over fences.

Vivian Yowan earned a 162-156 win, facing Abbie Hopkins, on Finn, while freshman Tali DeJong also won her point, 147-146, against UT Martin's Brooke Pfeiffer on Franco.

Bulldogs advance to UEC championship with 9-7 win over Hornets

The No.3-seeded Fresno State equestrian team will advance to the United Equestrian Conference championship round with a 9-7 win over the No. 2-seeded Delaware State in the semifinals on Friday morning.

The Bulldogs will move on to face No. 1-seeded SMU on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. PT. All information regarding the 2019 UEC Championship can be found here.

The morning got started with Horsemanship and Equitation Over Fences.

In the Fences, the Bulldogs and Hornets earned a 2-2 tie with points coming from redshirt junior Erica Rosinski and freshman Alivia Hart. Hart proved to be a bright light in the hunt seat division as she scored an event-high 163 to Eva Epstein's 152. The freshman had scores of 80 and 83 from the judges to total her final score.

The Horsemanship squad extended the Bulldog lead with a 3-1 win in the event. Freshman Alexis Steele got the Bulldog points rolling with a 144 (71.5+72.5) to her opponent's 138.5. Sophomore Alexis Miller earned her point with a 146 (72.5+73.5) to Delaware State's 142.5. Redshirt sophomore Nicole Campbell led the way with an event-high 153 (76.5+76.5) to Samantha Elliot's 149.

Fresno State took a 5-3 lead in to halftime.

In the final events, Fresno State and Delaware State tied, 4-4, which sealed the win for the Bulldogs thanks to their two-point lead going into the half.

The Bulldogs won the Equitation on the Flat, 3-1. Freshman Cecily Hayes opened up with an event-high 168 (87+81) over her opponent's 150. Senior Alexandra Dirickson kept her winning streak in the Flat alive with a 138 (70+68) to 137 victory over Gabrielle Fournier. Redshirt junior Brooke Nelson rounded out scoring for the 'Dogs in the event with a 137 (72+65) win over Erin Gordon's 129.

Delaware State took the Reining event, 3-1. Junior Shea Gilson earned the lone Bulldog point with a 130.5 (65.6+65) win over Grace Wilson who scored a 128.

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