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Feb. 7, 2015

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BISHOP, Ga. – No. 3 South Carolina took over first place in the SEC from Georgia on Saturday, as the Gamecocks edged the Bulldogs, 11-9, in the first meet of Saturday’s doubleheader at the UGA Equestrian Complex. The Gamecocks become the first team to ever win four straight meets over Georgia at the UGA Equestrian Complex.

The Gamecocks improved to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in SEC play. The Bulldogs fall to 4-4 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play.

“This was a win that we wanted today, and our girls did an outstanding job of getting after it,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We knew Georgia would be a tough opponent as they always are, and I was happy to see us hang in there and fight for the win. The win against Georgia was the start to a very good day for us and I was proud of our entire team today.”

The Gamecocks opened the meet by dropping the first two points in equitation over fences, but Carolina won the next three points to take an early 3-2 lead. Senior captain Amber Henter won the Gamecocks’ first point, as she earned MVP honors with an 86-68 win over Megan Southam. Redshirt sophomore Sydney Smith followed with a team-high score 87, defeating Georgia’s Liza Finsness by 11 points. Senior Katherine Schmidt closed out the event with an 80-70 win over Georgia rider Kylee Arbuckle.

“On the road, one of the most important things you can do is win the first event, so that was huge for us,” Major said. “Our hunt seat team has been strong for us all season, and they did a good job getting us off to a good start.”

In the western arena, the Bulldogs evened the score at five apiece by winning horsemanship, 3-2. Senior western captain Sam Chiodo and junior Abigail Pait won their points for the Gamecocks. Chiodo knocked off Paige Stawicki, 76.5-74.5, and Pait defeated Sammie Johnson, 79-77.5.

Tied 5-5 as the second half of the meet got underway, the Gamecocks went on to win six of the final ten points to knock off the Bulldogs and take over sole possession of first place in the SEC.

In the hunt seat arena, Schmidt won her second point of the meet when she beat Meg O’Mara, 76-62. Redshirt junior Samantha Smith posted a team-high score 85 to win her point over UGA rider Addy Cord.

The difference in Saturday’s meet came in the western arena, where the Gamecocks won four-of-five points to hold on for the win.

Senior Layla Choate posted an event-high score 71 and earned MVP honors as she defeated Lauren Tieche by a point and a half. Freshman Paisley Roberts defeated Lauren Garmon, 65.5-63. Junior Sarah Bouchard tallied a 67.5-65 win over Kyndall Harper. Up 10-9 and needing at least a tie to secure the win for the Gamecocks, South Carolina native Cody McMillion earned a six point win over Georgia’s Lindsey Cheek.

“Our reiners were the stars of the meet today, no question,” Major said. “Georgia’s reining team is so talented, but just like our meet at Oklahoma State, the girls rose up to the challenge and once again they proved themselves. Our entire western team is riding very well right now and we really like what we’re seeing out of everybody.”

The Gamecocks would finish out the day with a 17-2 win over Delaware State.

SC-GA Play-by-Play (unofficial)
0-1 : Meg O’Mara defeats Samantha Kraus, 90-78, on Franc.
0-2 : Leylan Gleeson defeats Samantha Smith by disqualification, on Jake.
1-2 : Amber Henter defeats Megan Southam 86-68, on Roman.
2-2 : Sydney Smith defeats Liza Finsness, 87-76, on Swank.
3-2 : Katherine Schmidt defeats Kylee Arbuckle, 80-70, on Zipp Zoo.
4-2 : Sam Chiodo defeats Paige Stawicki, 76.5-74.5, on Colby.
4-3 : Bailey Anderson defeats Courtney Allen, 78-75.5, on Rodney.
5-3 : Abigail Pait defeats Sammie Johnson, 79-77.5, on Rosey.
5-4 : Rachel Kolb defeats Bailey Mierzejewski, 76.5-75, on Sweed.
5-5 : Sara Parr defeats Kelsey Urban, 79.5-76.5, on Woody.
5-6 : Liza Finsness defeats Samantha Kraus, 87-75, on CJ.
6-6 : Layla Choate defeats Lauren Tieche, 71-69.5, on Ashe.
7-6 : Paisley Roberts defeats Lauren Garmon, 65.5-63, on Bam.
8-6 : Katherine Schmidt defeats Meg O’Mara, 76-62, on Posh.
9-6 : Samantha Smith defeats Addy Cord, 85-76, on Puck.
9-7 : Claudia Spreng defeats Bailey Walters, 70-67, on Garth.
10-7 : Sarah Bouchard defeats Kyndall Harper, 67.5-65, on Peppy.
10-8 : Kylee Arbuckle defeats Adele Norton, 74-67, on Riant.
10-9 : Megan Southam defeats Amber Henter, 76-73, on Titletown.
11-9 : Cody McMillion defeats Lindsey Cheek, 65-59, on Smoke.
11-9 : South Carolina defeats Georgia.