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Gamecocks to Face South Dakota State in NCEA Championship First Round
Equestrian  . 

Gamecocks to Face South Dakota State in NCEA Championship First Round

March 29, 2017


Meet: South Carolina vs. South Dakota State

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. CT

Venue: Extraco Events Center

Location: Waco, Texas

Team Record
1. Baylor 12-4
2. Georgia 11-4
3. Auburn 9-4
4. Oklahoma State 8-2
5. Texas A&M 9-5
6. South Carolina 6-8
7. Fresno State 8-7
8. SMU 7-6
9. TCU 5-10
10. New Mexico State 5-7
11. South Dakota State 3-8
12. Delaware State 2-9

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 2017 NCEA National Championship bracket was revealed on Wednesday, and the University of South Carolina equestrian team is seeded sixth in the annual season-ending tournament. The Gamecocks will face No. 11-seed South Dakota State on Thursday, April 13, in the First Round of the single-elimination event.

The First Round session begins at 9:30 a.m. CT on April 14 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. The winner of the battle between the Gamecocks and Jackrabbits will advance to Friday’s Quarterfinals, against third-seeded Auburn.

The 2017 NCEA Championship culminates Saturday, April 15, when collegiate equestrian will crown a national champion.

“Our program has been to the NCEA Championship many times before and knows what it takes to win it all,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “I’m encouraged by the performances I saw at the SEC Championship and expect to carry that momentum into our meeting with South Dakota State. The Jacks are a good team, and if we can advance past them I like our chances to make a deep run in Waco and hopefully bring home our fourth national title.”

South Carolina (6-8) went 0-2 at the SEC Championship last week, with a 13-7 loss to Georgia and a 12-8 setback against Texas A&M, but the Gamecocks put together a host of strong rides in the consolation matchup. Ashley Reichert (horsemanship), Chloe Schmidt (equitation on the flat) and Bailey Walters (reining) were each named MOP against the Aggies, with Walters also winning the award against the Bulldogs in the semifinals.

South Dakota State (3-8) last competed March 11, an 8-8 tiebreaker loss to SMU. The Jacks own a pair of victories over Minnesota-Crookston this season and last won on Feb. 25, an 8-8 tiebreaker victory over New Mexico State.

South Carolina is 6-0 all-time against South Dakota State. The teams last met Sept. 25, 2015, with the Gamecocks taking a season-opening 9-7 win on the road. Amelia Vernon won equitation on the flat MOP honors, while Raleigh Bacharach, Lizzie van der Walde, Bailey Walters and Bridgett White also earned points.

Big 12 Conference champion Baylor is the top seed in Waco, followed by SEC champion Georgia, Auburn and Oklahoma State. The top four seeds get a bye to the Quarterfinals, while Texas A&M, the Gamecocks, Fresno State, SMU, TCU, New Mexico State, the Jacks and United Equestrian Conference champion Delaware State will each need to win four consecutive matches to hoist the NCEA trophy.

South Carolina owns three overall national titles, from 2005, 2007 and 2015. Then-sophomore Sydney Smith won a point in the 2015 title victory over Georgia, while current Gamecocks Bailey Mierzejewski, Megan Overberg and Paisley Roberts also participated in the meet.

Last season, the Gamecocks fell in the NCEA Championship First Round to SMU, 10-6.