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Sept. 19, 2014

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Coach Major

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Gamecock equestrian team opened the 2014-15 season on Friday with a 10-8 loss at No. 6 Kansas State at Timbercreek Stables. South Carolina is now 0-1 on the new season, while the Wildcats are 1-0.

“We got beat today, and we tip our hats to Kansas State’s riders,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We made too many mistakes today to beat a team as good as K-State, and I thought their riders did a good job capitalizing on those mistakes. We saw some good things here and there, and we obviously saw some things we need to work on with the two weeks that we have to get ready for Georgia. We’ll get back to work on Monday and I think the girls will be ready to go.”

Friday’s meet began in the covered arena, where the Gamecocks won three-of-five points to jump out to an early lead. The Wildcats won the first point of the meet, but senior captain Amber Henter tied the meet at 1-1 when she defeated Kansas State’s Henley Adkins, 83-82. K-State re-took the lead on the next ride, but Samantha Smith and Katherine Schmidt closed out the jumping with back-to-back wins to give the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead. Smith posted the largest margin of victory in the jumping, knocking off the Wildcats’ Madison Wayda, 79-65. Schmidt’s 81-78 win over Christina Martinelli pushed the Gamecocks ahead, earning the senior her first MVP of the season.

Outside in the western arena, Carolina and K-State battled it out in reining, and the meet was deadlocked 4-4 at the conclusion. The Wildcats won the first reining point to tie the meet at 3-3, but Gamecock senior Layla Choate tallied South Carolina’s lone point of the event, knocking off Brynn Critcher, 70-59.5, to give the Gamecocks a 4-3 lead. After South Carolina junior Haiden De Jane made her competition debut holding K-State’s Heidi Schmitz to a 69.5-69.5 tie, the Wildcats tied the meet at four apieace after a point by Wildcat rider Nichole Hatton. Gamecock freshman Bailey Walters, also making her collegiate debut on Friday, held Kansas State’s Kara Guy to a 66-66 tie.

The Wildcats extended their lead to 7-4 when Kansas State won the first three horsemanship points. The Gamecocks prevented the shutout when sophomore Courtney Allen and senior Sam Chiodo posted back-to-back points to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 7-6. Allen posted a 71-60.5 victory over Sydney Anson, and Chiodo followed with an event-high score 76, defeating Kelsey Karanges by three points to pick up her first MVP of the season.

Kansas State extended its lead to 8-6 after winning the first flat point. Schmidt followed with her second point of the day, knocking off Alexis Graves, 87-74, to cut the Wildcats’ lead to one. K-State won the next point to go up 9-7, but junior Samantha Kraus kept the Gamecocks alive with her 84-81 win over Christina Martinelli. Trailing 9-8, the Gamecocks needed Kansas State’s Adkins to score a 74 or lower in order to win the tiebreaker, but the Wildcat rider tied Schmidt’s 87 for the event-high score to win her point, securing the K-State win.

The Gamecocks return to action on Fri., October 3 when South Carolina hosts Georgia in its SEC opener at One Wood Farm. The Georgia meet will begin at 2 p.m. ET, and admission is free.