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Oct. 25, 2013

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BRYAN, Texas – No. 3 South Carolina rallied from a four-point deficit against No. 9 Texas A&M on Friday and the two teams were tied 9-9 late, but the Aggies held on for the upset win, as the Gamecocks fell, 10-9, at the Brazos County Expo Center. South Carolina is now 4-2 overall and 0-2 in SEC play, while A&M improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference action.

The hunt seat team won, 6-4, while the western team lost, 6-3.

“Once again, we had some mistakes that cost us. In hunter seat, we were so strong over fences against Georgia two weeks ago. Major mistakes there really hurt us this week,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “In horsemanship, we just got beat plain and simple. I was proud of our equitation on the flat group and our reiners. Our reiners had to go last and ride under a lot of pressure and they responded really well. It’s a disappointing loss. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for Auburn in two weeks. Hopefully, we can bounce back from these losses and get back on a winning track.”

The Gamecocks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Friday, when juniors Katherine Schmidt and Amber Henter won back-to-back points. Schmidt won her fifth MVP of the season with an 86-80 victory over Haley Buchmiller. Henter followed with an 85-83 win over Marlena Parker. The Aggies would go on to sweep the final three points, as Marlena Parker, Hannah Williams, and Leah Chenelle all picked up wins for Texas A&M. After Chenelle won her point to give A&M a 3-2 lead, the Aggies never trailed again.

A&M extended its lead in horsemanship, winning four of five points over the Gamecocks to take a 7-3 lead at the halfway point.

The Aggies won back-to-back points to take a 5-2 lead. Junior Sam Chiodo prevented the sweep when she knocked off A&M’s Alysa Soechting, 74-72. Texas A&M went on to win the final two horsemanship points, including an MVP win from the Aggies’ Logan Pluhar.

South Carolina stormed back in equitation on the flat, winning the first four points to tie the meet at 7-7.

Junior Alexa Anthony won her second MVP of the season, scoring the first of four straight Gamecock points with her 81-79 victory over Megan Phillips. Junior Adele Norton remained undefeated this season when she defeated A&M’s Marlena Parker, 80-76. Redshirt sophomore Samantha Smith followed with a one-point win over Hannah Williams, as both riders went 1-1 against each other on Friday. Schmidt finished her 2-for-2 day scoring an event-high 83, to defeat the Aggies’ Buchmiller by four points. Schmidt defeated Buchmiller to win both of her points on Friday, and now leads the team with 11 wins on the season. The Aggies avoided the 5-0 sweep when Texas A&M rider Paige Russell picked up a 71-68 decision over Carolina sophomore Samantha Kraus, giving the Aggies an 8-7 lead heading into reining.

After dropping the first reining point, Carolina won back-to-back points to tie it at nine apiece. Senior Johnna Letchworth won her fifth MVP of the season when she defeated A&M’s Hannah Jechow, to cut A&M’s lead to 9-8. Junior Layla Choate tied it at 9-9 in the next ride with a 71.5-70 victory over Ashley Dotson. The Aggies won the next point to take a 10-9 lead, and avoided the tiebreaker when Cody McMillion and Logan Pluhar tied, 66-66.

Friday’s is the first time South Carolina has been outscored in a dual meet since March 8 at Kansas State. The Gamecocks had not been outscored in eight consecutive dual meets dating back to last season.

The Gamecocks have next weekend off, but South Carolina will wrap-up SEC action for the fall on Nov. 9, when the Gamecocks travel to Auburn. The Gamecocks went 2-1 against the Tigers last year, defeating Auburn 10-9 on Oct. 4, 2012 in their SEC opener, and then again on March 30 to win the inaugural SEC Championship. Auburn defeated Carolina, 10-9, on Feb. 14, 2013.

1-0 – Katherine Schmidt (MVP) defeats Haley Buchmiller, 86-80.
2-0 – Amber Henter defeats Shelby Lawson, 85-83.
2-1 – Marlena Parker defeats Samantha Kraus, 73-68.
2-2 – Hannah Williams defeats Samantha Smith, 79-78.
2-3 – Leah Chenelle defeats Alexa Anthony 81-70.
2-4 – Laura Brainard defeats Alison Ceresani, 73-70.5.
2-5 – Molli Jacobs defeats Kelsey Urban, 72.5-70.
3-5 – Sam Chiodo defeats Alyssa Soechting, 74-72.
3-6 – Logan Pluhar (MVP) defeats Johnna Letchworth, 74-73.5.
3-7 – Caroline Ammons defeats Katie Kopf, 72.-5-70.5.
4-7 – Alexa Anthony (MVP) defeats Megan Phillips, 81-79.
5-7 – Adele Norton defeats Marlena Parker, 80-76.
6-7 – Samantha Smith defeats Hannah Williams, 76-75.
7-7 – Katherine Schmidt defeats Haley Buchmiller, 83-79.
7-8 – Paige Russell defeats Samantha Kraus, 71-68.
7-9 – Laura Sumrall defeats Jordan Brown, 67.5-66.5.
8-9 – Johnna Letchworth (MVP) defeats Hannah Jechow, 72-70.5.
9-9 – Layla Choate defeats Ashley Dotson, 71.5-70.
9-10 – Sarah Kate Grider defeats Sarah Bouchard, 71-69.5.
9-10 – Cody McMillion ties Logan Pluhar, 66-66.
FINAL: Texas A&M wins, 10-9.