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March 5, 2015

South Carolina junior Sarah Bouchard has won her point in five of the Gamecocks’ last six meets.

WHAT: No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 3 Baylor
WHEN: Friday, March 6 • 3:30 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Blythewood, S.C. • One Wood Farm
Coach Major

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1 South Carolina closes out its regular season on Friday, when the Gamecocks host third-ranked Baylor at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. Friday’s meet is now scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm. ET. The competition was originally slated to begin at 1 p.m. ET, but had to be adjusted due to Baylor’s travel schedule. Please note that the 3:30 p.m. time is an approximate time and any updates to the schedule will be announced here on GamecocksOnline and on the team’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

“We’re looking forward to what’s going to be a great meet between two very good teams,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Baylor’s had an outstanding season so far so we know we have our work cut out for us on Friday. We’ve had a short week of practice coming off a great performance against Auburn on Saturday, but I thought we rode much better than we did out at Texas A&M a few weeks ago. We’ll need to stay focused and really be sharp on Friday, but I know our seniors would love to beat a very talented Baylor team on Friday in their final home meet.”

• The Gamecocks are ranked No. 1 in the latest NCEA team rankings.
• South Carolina is 8-3 overall and 4-2 in SEC play.
• The Gamecocks are 3-1 at home this season.
• Carolina was won eight of its last nine competitions.

• Baylor is ranked No. 3 in the latest NCEA team rankings.
• The Bears are 11-2 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play.
• Baylor is 2-2 away from home, with road wins over TCU and Delaware State.
• The Bears were ranked No. 1 in the country from Oct. 28, 2014 until the latest rankings were released on Tuesday.

2014-15 NCEA RANKINGS – March 3, 2015
1. South Carolina
2. Georgia
3. Baylor
4. TCU
5. Oklahoma State
6. Fresno State
7. Auburn
8. Texas A&M
9. Kansas State
10. SMU

South Carolina and Baylor have combined to hold the No. 1 ranking in the country since October 28, 2014, a span of 129 days. Baylor held the top spot for the first 126 days of the streak, while the Gamecocks have been ranked No. 1 for just three days.

The Gamecocks defeated then-No. 4 Auburn, 11-7, last Saturday on Senior Day. Led by the western team’s 7-2 win over Auburn, Carolina won its eighth meet of the season, improving its home record 3-1. Auburn never held the lead, and the Gamecocks won 3-of-4 MVPs to sweep the Tigers during the regular season for the second straight year.

The Gamecocks last faced Baylor on Nov. 17, 2012 in Waco. Then-No. 1 South Carolina suffered its first loss of the season, losing 9-8 to the Bears, who were ranked eighth at the time. Baylor’s hunt seat team knocked off the Gamecocks, 5-4, led by a pair of MVP wins from Samantha Schaefer.

South Carolina and Baylor last faced off in Blythewood on Feb. 26, 2012. Then-No. 5 South Carolina upset then-No. 4 Baylor, 15-4, at One Wood Farm. The Bears won four of the first five points in the meet, but the Gamecocks shut out Baylor in the remaining three events, winning the final 14 points. South Carolina shutout Baylor 5-0 in equitation over fences, 4-0 in horsemanship, and 5-0 in equitation on the flat. Kimberly McCormack (equitation on the flat), Paige Dekko (equitation over fences) and Johnna Letchworth (horsemanship) all earned MVP honors for the Gamecocks.

No current Gamecock has ever won an MVP against Baylor.

Friday’s meet will mark the final time ever that South Carolina senior class will compete at home. Seniors Alexa Anthony, Sam Chiodo, Layla Choate, Melanie Cormier, Elizabeth deGolian, Amber Henter, Cody McMillion, Adele Norton and Katherine Schmidt were all recognized during the team’s Senior Day ceremony last week against Auburn.

South Carolina’s captains, Amber Henter and Sam Chiodo were both named SEC Riders of the Month for February, it was announced on Thursday. Henter picked up the conference honor in equitation over fences for the second time in her career. Chiodo earned her first conference rider of the month award, picking up the nod in horsemanship.

Henter was also named National Rider of the Month in equitation over fences by the NCEA on Tuesday.

The Gamecocks will travel to College Station, Texas for the 2015 SEC Equestrian Championship, which runs March 27-28. Carolina earned the No. 2 seed for the SEC Championship and will face either Auburn or Texas A&M in the semifinal round.

Auburn and Texas A&M will face off on March 14 in College Station. The Aggies are 2-3 in SEC play while Auburn is 1-4. The winner of that meet will secure the No. 3 seed and face South Carolina in the semifinal round. The loser will fall to the No. 4 seed and face No. 1 seed Georgia in the semifinal round.