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Nov. 24, 2013

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BROOKINGS, S.D. – No. 2 South Carolina closed out the fall portion of its schedule on Saturday, setting a program record for wins during the fall semester, as the Gamecocks (6-2, 1-2 SEC) defeated South Dakota State, 14-5, at the DeHaan Equestrian Center.

The western team cruised to a 7-3 victory, while the hunt seat team won, 7-2. Carolina also won three of four MVP’s on Saturday, including a pair of Gamecocks who were named MVP for the first time in their careers. Layla Choate earned her second MVP of the season in reining, while sophomores Abigail Pait (horsemanship) and Samantha Kraus (equitation over fences) both won their first career MVP’s.

“We had a great day today, and I am very proud of how hard our team came out and fought,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We rode very well in all four events, and I think the scores and points were reflective of that. I’m very proud of Abigail and Samantha on winning their first MVP’s, especially since they won them on the road, that always makes it a little more special. But we’re happy to be heading home with a win, and we’ll start looking ahead to the spring pretty soon.”

The Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead on Saturday, winning four of five points in reining. Junior Cody McMillion won the first point of the meet, as she edged South Dakota State’s Nicole Harvey, 70-69.5, the first of four straight points for Carolina. McMillion ends the fall with a 6-1-1 record in reining. Sophomore Sarah Bouchard followed with a victory over Makayla Reed. Senior Jordan Brown picked up her fourth point of the fall with a 70.5-70 win over Madison Engles. Choate earned her team-leading seventh reining point of the season when she knocked off the Jackrabbits’ Danielle Baker, 72.5-70. Choate earned MVP honors, her second of the season. South Dakota State avoided the 5-0 sweep when Laura Dunlavy edged Gamecock senior Johnna Letchworth, 69.5-68.

In horsemanship, Carolina extended its lead, winning three of five points to give the Gamecocks a 7-3 lead at the halfway point of the meet.

South Dakota State won the first horsemanship point to cut Carolina’s lead to two points, but sophomore Abigail Pait posted an event-high score of 74.5 to knock off Sarah Bowen by three points, earning Pait her first career MVP. After the Jacks won the next point to make it a 5-3 score, the Gamecocks won the final two points back-to-back. Western team captain Alison Ceresani dropped the Jackrabbits Victoria Johnson, 73.5-67.5, to give the senior her fifth victory of the season. Letchworth closed out the event with a 71.5-71 win over Shelby Webb, as both Letchworth and Ceresani are tied for the team lead in horsemanship wins with five apiece.

The Gamecocks kicked off the second half of Saturday’s meet defeating the Jacks, 3-1, in equitation over fences. Sophomore Samantha Kraus posted an event-high score of 82 to defeat SDSU’s Nicole Bangasser by eight points, earning Kraus her first career MVP as she was the only competition rider to score above 74. Hunt seat captain Amber Henter followed with a 73-41 victory over Jessica Andronowitz to give the Gamecocks a 9-3 lead, and giving Henter a 6-1 jumping record in the first half of the season. The Jackrabbits won the next point, but junior Katherine Schmidt gave Carolina a 10-4 lead when she edged Blair Long, 70-68, giving Schmidt a perfect 8-0 jumping record in the fall. Schmidt ends the fall with an 8-0 mark in equitation over fences with four MVP’s.

Carolina closed out the meet with a dominating 4-1 victory in equitation on the flat. There were four re-rides between two head-to-heads. Smith rebounded from her fences loss, and dropped South Dakota State’s Natalie Howard, 73-63, to give Carolina an 11-4 lead. After the Jackrabbits won the next point to make it 11-5, the Gamecocks went on to win the final three points. Schmidt completed her 2-for-2 day with a 72-68 win over Andronowitz, giving her a fall record of 14-1-1 with six MVP’s. In what was her third ride of the event, senior Kelsey Hart knocked off the Jackrabbits’ Maddie Lewis, 77-62. Also competing in her third flat ride of the night, sophomore Emily Reynolds posted a 13-point win over Santana Wright.

With the fall competition schedule officially wrapped up, the Gamecocks do not compete again until Feb. 1, when Carolina travels to face New Mexico State.

1-0 : Cody McMillion (SC) defeats Nicole Harvey, 70-69.5, on Ruby.
2-0 : Sarah Bouchard (SC) defeats Makayla Reed, 67.5-0, on Shadow.
3-0 : Jordan Brown (SC) defeats Madison Engles, 70.5-70, on Lucy.
4-0 : Layla Choate (SC) defeats Danielle Baker, 72.5-70, on AR.
4-1 : Laura Dunlavy defeats Johnna Letchworth (SC), 69.5-68, on Bunny.
4-2 : Elizabeth Niewojna defeats Samantha Nicholson (SC), 69.5-65, on Gucci.
5-2 : Abigail Pait (SC) defeats Sarah Bowen, 74.5-71.5, on Flash.
5-3 : Danielle Dickerson defeats Sam Chiodo (SC) 73.5-73, on Jag. (re-ride)
6-3 : Alison Ceresani (SC) defeats Victoria Johnson, 73.5-67.5, on Marshal.
7-3 : Johnna Letchworth (SC) defeats Shelby Webb, 71.5-71, on Ditto.
8-3 : Samantha Kraus (SC) defeats Nicole Bangasser, 82-74, on Snowy.
9-3 : Amber Henter (SC) defeats Jessica Andronowitz, 73-41, on Elliott.
9-4 : Santana Wright defeats Samantha Smith (SC), 66-40.
10-4: Katherine Schmidt (SC) defeats Blair Long, 70-68, on Mazi.
10-4 : Alexa Anthony (SC) ties Jordan Goodall, 69-69.
11-4 : Samantha Smith (SC) defeats Natalie Howard, 73-63, on Havana.
11-5 : Mandy Gradert defeats Alexa Anthony (SC), 79-77, on Justy.
12-5 : Katherine Schmidt (SC) defeats Jessica Andronowitz, 72-68, on Snowy.
13-5 : Kelsey Hart (SC) defeats Maddie Lewis, 77-62, on Mia. (Second re-ride)
14-5 : Emily Reynolds (SC) defeats Santana Wright, 69-56, on Grace. (Second re-ride)