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Sept. 18, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Back-to-back defending SEC Champion South Carolina opens the 2014-15 season on Friday in Manhattan, Kan., when the Gamecocks travel to face No. 6 Kansas State. Friday’s match is a re-match of last season’s opening meet, and it also marks the first time in a decade that the Gamecocks have opened the season on the road.

“We’re excited about the new season, and after a very competitive preseason camp, I think we’re ready to get it going,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We had some hard practices but I think our seniors and juniors did a great job of setting the tone and making sure the younger girls are ready. When you look at Kansas State, the first thing that jumps out to me is their impressive winning streak at home. Casie’s teams are always prepared, so they’ll certainly be comfortable riding at home, and we’ll need to come out and be focused on Friday.”

WHAT: No. 2 South Carolina at No. 6 Kansas State
WHEN: Friday, September 19, 2014 • 2 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Manhattan, Kan. • Timbercreek Stables

• This season marks the 19th year of Gamecock equestrian.
• The Gamecocks have won two overall national championships (2007, 2005).
• The Gamecocks have twice finished as the national runner-up (2014, 2006).
• The Gamecocks won three straight hunter seat championships (2007, 2006, 2005) under the old national championship format.
• The Gamecocks have won two Southeastern Conference Championships (2014, 2013).
• The Gamecocks won the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship, the precursor to the SEC Championship which started with the 2012-2013 season.

• The Gamecocks are led by head coach Boo Major, who begins her 18th season at the helm of the South Carolina program. Last year, she was voted NCEA National Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year.
• Associate head coach Ruth Sorrel returns for her 10th season leading the Gamecocks’ western team.
• Hunt seat coach Hillary Dobbs is in her first season with the Gamecocks.

13 – Freshmen
10 – Sophomores
9 – Seniors
8 – Juniors

5 – Connecticut
4 – Ohio
4 – South Carolina
3 – Pennsylvania
2 – California
2 – Florida
2 – Maryland
2 – New York
2 – Georgia
2 – Massachusetts
1 – Indiana
1 – Nebraska
1 – Vermont
1 – Colorado
1 – New Jersey
1 – Rhode Island
1 – Washington
1 – Michigan
1 – Kentucky
1 – Virginia
1 – Canada

NCEA Preseason Rankings
1. Georgia
2. South Carolina
3. Oklahoma State
4. Auburn
5. Baylor
6. Kansas State
7. Texas Christian
8. Texas A&M
9. New Mexico State
10. Southern Methodist

• The Gamecocks return nine of 10 hunt seat lineup spots from last year’s SEC Championship team.
• South Carolina returns five of 10 western lineup spots from last year’s SEC Championship team.
• The Gamecocks return six of seven riders who earned All-SEC honors last year.
• Carolina returns six of its seven riders who were named to last year’s NCEA All-America teams.
• The Gamecocks have been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the country for 23 straight weeks – an equestrian program record.
• The Gamecocks are ranked No. 2 in the NCEA preseason rankings.
• South Carolina went 15-3 last season.

• The Wildcats are ranked No. 6 in the NCEA preseason rankings.
• Kansas State went 11-6 last season.
• The Wildcats lost to Auburn in the quarterfinals at last year’s NCEA National Championship.
• Kansas State went 5-0 at home last season.
• The Wildcats have won their last 11 home meets, which is the longest active home winning streak in the country.
• Kansas State has not lost a home meet since falling to SMU in a tiebreaker on Sept. 28, 2012.
• The Wildcats have not lost a home meet outright in 12 consecutive meets. Their last outright loss at home came on March 17, 2012, when Oklahoma State defeated the Wildcats, 11-9.

• 2013 (Mar. 8) – South Carolina-6 | Kansas State-14
• 2010 (Oct. 29) – South Carolina-9 | Kansas State-11
• 2007 (Oct. 28) – South Carolina-7 | Kansas State-13

The Gamecocks opened the 2013-14 season with a 15-5 win over Kansas State in last year’s season opener. South Carolina won all four events and swept all four MVPs. Alexa Anthony, Katherine Schmidt, Samantha Smith and Samantha Kraus went 2-for-2 against the Wildcats.

• 2013-2014 : vs. Kansas State (9/20/13) – Won 15-5
• 2012-2013 : vs. Oklahoma State (9/29/12) – Won 13-7
• 2011-2012 : vs. Fresno State (9/23/11) – Won 16-3
• 2010-2011 : vs. SMU (9/24/10) – Won 8-4 (Hunt seat-only meet)
• 2009-2010 : vs. TCU (9/20/09) – Lost 9-10
• 2008-2009 : vs. Kansas State (9/19/08) – Won 13-4
• 2007-2008 : vs. TCU (9/22/07) – Won 11-8
• 2006-2007 : vs. Baylor (9/22/06) – Won 11-9
• 2005-2006 : vs. Kentucky (9/23/05) – Won 1,224.5-1,148.5
• 2004-2005 : at Georgia (9/25/2004) – Lost 1,166-1,097
• 2003-2004 : at Georgia (10/03.2003) – Lost 1,053.25-1,072

Seven of the Gamecocks’ first 10 meets this season are on the road. During the fall, South Carolina will host two competitions while competing four times on the road. In the spring, the Gamecocks compete three times at home and three times on the road. Carolina does not have back-to-back home meets until the end of the season, when the Gamecocks host Auburn (Feb. 28) and Baylor (Mar. 6) in their final two meets of the regular season.

This year’s Gamecocks returns nine seniors, five of whom were named to last year’s All-SEC Team – Layla Choate (reining), Amber Henter (equitation over fences), Cody McMillion (reining), Adele Norton (equitation on the flat), and Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences). Carolina also returns hunt seat senior Alexa Anthony, who went 18-9-5 for the Gamecocks as a junior while posting six MVPs, and Sam Chiodo who went 10-4-2 with two MVPs in horsemanship last year. The Gamecocks also return Melanie Cormier and Elizabeth deGolian.

The Gamecocks will host Georgia in their home opener on Fri., October 3 in Blythewood. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs met four times last season, including in both the SEC Championship and National Championship. Three of the four meetings between South Carolina and Georgia last season went to tie breakers.