Jan. 27, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina western team opened up its spring season Friday as they competed in the Big 8 Western Tournament in College Station, Texas. USC fell in the first round to Georgia 720-705 but bounced back in round two and defeated Baylor 711-693.5. Sophomore Katy Biffle had the best outing for the Gamecocks as she won both her horsemanship and reining competitions against Baylor.
In the match-up against Georgia, Biffle lost by half a point to Dana Kennedy 147-146.5 in horsemanship and fell 144.5-139.5 to Kate Stewart in reining. Rachel Sternoff also had a close competition as she lost to Kari Ellingson 143-142 in horsemanship and lost to Sarah Meier 142-139 in reining. Laura Pipkin was the lowest scorer in reining with 143-138, while Allison Bradley lost 142.5-135 to Carly Veldman in horsemanship.
“We were a little slow starting out this morning and made some mistakes that lost us,” said head coach Boo Duncan. “Georgia rode very well and we are rooting for the SEC now and hope they can win it all.”
The Gamecocks were able to rebound in round two and easily handled the Bears. Biffle defeated Stephanie Thompson 144-141 in the horsemanship event. In reigning, she defeated Kendall Kemp 140.5-125. Bradley also picked up a victory in horsemanship for the Gamecocks as she defeated Ashleigh Brown 145.5-143, and Sternoff defeated Amanda Esco 142.5-134.5 in reining. Pipkin was unable to score in reining as she lost 136-0.
“Laura Pipkin had a tough ride but she tried her best,” said Duncan. “We were much better this afternoon and I am proud of our effort.”
The Gamecocks will now take on Oklahoma State on Saturday and vie for a fifth-place finish. Competition begins at 8 a.m. CT.