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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Texas A&M, South Carolina win in opening round

246 days ago
Texas A&M, South Carolina Athletics
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M

WACO, Texas -- The No. 5 Texas A&M Equestrian team defeated No. 12 Delaware State, 13-2, Thursday in the opening round of the NCEA Championship at the Extraco Events Center.

The Aggies (10-5) took an early lead after winning the first event, Reining, 3-1. Texas A&M dropped the first point of the day, but came back to score the final three points of the event. Junior Madison Bohman tallied the first point for the Maroon and White with a 143-140 victory over Elizabeth Koons. Sophomore Haley Franc edged out Shelbe Jarret, 137.5-135.5 before senior Sarah McEntire defeated Monica Ellis, 141.5-139.

A&M headed into the halfway point with a dominant 7-1 lead after sweeping Equitation over Fences, 4-0. Sophomore Rebekah Chenelle notched her 10th win of the season after toppling Rachel Dantley, 174-144. Junior Rachael Hake outscored Hayley Anderson, 155-149, prior to senior Haley Webster's 168-151 victory over Caroline Schock. Junior Alex Desiderio recorded a 171-143 victory over Molly Gara to close the event.

In the Western arena, the Aggies earned two additional points following Horsemanship, leading 9-2. Sarah Orsak topped Shelbe Jarrett, 143-138.5, before senior Kaci Fisher picked up her 12th victory on the season against Emily Fick, 142.5-128.5.

Desiderio earned her second victory of the day after defeating Emily Nelson, 174-104, with senior Anna Rea following suit with her 151-124 win over Anderson in Equitation on the Flat. Chenelle also tallied her second win of the day against Schock, 169-122. Junior Maddie Swem downed Gara, 153-131, to close the meet.

The Aggies return to action Friday against No. 4 Oklahoma State. Friday's action is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT. Live streaming of the event can be seen online at www.eqsports.net and live stats can be found at www.baylorbears.com.

South Carolina

WACO, Texas -- The University of South Carolina equestrian team breezed through the opening round of the 2017 NCEA Championship on Thursday, dropping South Dakota State 15-1, at the Extraco Events Center. With the win, the sixth-seeded Gamecocks advance to Friday's quarterfinals, where they will face No. 3 Auburn.

The Gamecocks (7-8) opened the day with loads of momentum after sweeping all four points in their first event, equitation over fences. After taking each of the four matchups by double-digit margins, Carolina had a big lead over the 11th-seeded Jackrabbits (3-9), and they never trailed. The Gamecocks also won every point in equitation on the flat and horsemanship.

QUOTING HEAD COACH BOO MAJOR

"We made a super effort in all four events. Our riders were very focused and prepared, which made for a successful day. Hats off to Coach Sorrel, Dobbs and Slocum for doing a great job today and to our entire team for being united and positive."

EQUITATION OVER FENCES RECAP

South Carolina needed to set the tone with a big effort in jumping, and they did just that, with four commanding victories. Sydney Smith took down Jacey Chorlton, 166-149, on Mabel, and Lizzie van der Walde earned a 172-152 victory over Alissa Greenwald on Calisto. Chloe Schmidt tallied a 172-151 win over Blair Julia Wright on Valducchy, and after a re-ride Madison Sellman completed the sweep with a 167-156 victory on Charm over Jessica Martinez.

REINING RECAP

Three more Gamecocks were victorious in the first western event of the day. Paisley Roberts took a 139-131 win over Nicole Harvey on Gunner, and Jordan Scott took the point in her nationals debut, 138-133 over Miranda Sullivan on KC. Last but not least, SEC Rider of the Year and First Team All-American Caroline Gute grabbed a win in her first NCEA Championship ride, 138.5-138, over Alicia Johnson on Remy.

Midway through the meet, Carolina held a 7-1 lead and needed just two points to clinch a quarterfinal spot.

EQUITATION ON THE FLAT RECAP

After the intermission, Carolina won all four points on the flat. Smith took down Chorlton, 159-136 on Z, and Schmidt was a 174-148 victor on Sparky over Jessica Andronowitz. Lauren Fabiano defeated Natalie Howard on Roman, 158-119, and van der Walde capped it off with a 165-141 win on Bunni over Taylor Duerr.

HORSEMANSHIP RECAP

All four Gamecocks were big winners in the last event of the day. Bailey Mierzejewski rode Snip to a 148-139 win over Jordan Gates, and Paige Stopperich earned a 140-139 win over Kelsey Swainston on Murphy. Ashley Reichert took down Victoria Johnson, 147.5-144, on Lexi, and in the final battle Madison Thiel brought home a 143.5-140 win on Beau over Nicole Siebold.

NOTABLE

• South Carolina is now 6-2 all-time in the combined format at the NCEA Championship, and they have won all seven meetings against South Dakota State. • Carolina's 14-point margin of victory was their largest ever in the 16-point NCEA nationals format and the team's biggest margin of victory overall since a 17-2 win over Delaware State on Feb. 7, 2015. • Gute's victory was her 10th of the season, while Schmidt took home her 11th flat victory of 2016-17.

UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS

South Carolina and Auburn will face off Friday, beginning at approximately 9:05 a.m. CT in the quarterfinals. The Gamecocks will be on the same schedule as Thursday: equitation over fences begins at approximately 9:05 a.m. CT, with reining at approximately 11:20 a.m., equitation on the flat at approximately 1:40 p.m., and horsemanship at approximately 4:15 p.m.

The Gamecocks will be looking for their first win of the season over Auburn after the Tigers earned a 13-5 win on Nov. 18 and a 10-8 victory Feb. 25 at One Wood Farm.