Feb. 26, 2009
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – After knocking off two top-ranked teams and a second-ranked team in the last four weeks, the fifth-ranked South Carolina equestrian team takes its five-competition winning streak on the road for the final time this regular season when the team competes against No. 9 Fresno State at the Student Horse Center.
The Gamecocks (6-4) moved up one spot in the Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches poll this week as the team steadily climbs to the top after a fall season that ended with the program holding a 1-4 record. Carolina hasn’t lost a match since returning to the ring with the start of the spring season, and the team has been nearly unstoppable by winning 15 of a possible 20 MVP rides during the spring season thus far. The Gamecocks will look to continue their winning ways Saturday at 9 a.m. (PT) with their first meet at Fresno State since defeating the Bulldogs on a raw score tiebreaker in the 2006-07 season (the teams tied in points, 10-10).
“The girl’s are excited about making the trip to California this weekend,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We hope to continue our winning ways but can only do that if the whole team contributes. I think we have established some great leaders in each event this year, and I look to them to help motivate the entire team to put out the best effort possible. Now is not the time to get complacent as I am sure Fresno State will give us everything they’ve got.”
Competing for South Carolina in equitation on the flat will be Carly Babcock (6-0-2), Megan Massaro (7-1-1), Victoria Middleton (5-1-1), Sarah Stephens (5-2-1) and Alex Haskell (3-4). Equitation over fences will feature Massaro (6-2), Nicole Bourgeois (5-3), LIndsey Pace (1-1), Eleanor Kunsman (4-3) and Courtney Reece (3-2).
Competing for the Western team in horsemanship will be Katie Grossnickle (7-2-1), Emily Bookwalter (3-4-1), Hailey Thornton (5-3-1), Amy Biffle (0-9) and Maggie Fortune (3-4-1). Riding in reining will be Biffle (2-5), Thornton (1-6-1), Rebekah Roof (5-5), Lydia Roof (4-5) and Chloe Gray (5-4).
Carolina will have an entire month off after the meet until hosting Delaware State on March 28 at 10 a.m. The meet will be Senior Day for South Carolina as the Gamecocks prepare for the Southern Equestrian Championships that will be held April 3-4 in Athens, Ga.