No. 6 K-State Opens Spring With Rematch At No. 5 OSU
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The sixth-ranked K-State equestrian team will hit the road for its first action of the spring season as it travels to Stillwater, Okla., for a matchup with the fifth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
“The whole squad is anxious to get on the road and start competing this weekend,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth. “We had a great fall semester, but we will add difficulty this semester by being on the road for the majority of our competitions.”
The Wildcats will be looking to avenge their first loss of the season back on Oct. 17 when the then-fourth-ranked Cowgirls visited Fox Creek Farms and came away with a 12-7 decision. K-State, ranked as high as fifth in the national polls last semester, went on to accumulate a 4-2 record in the fall season with wins coming over seventh-ranked TCU and the then-second-ranked Baylor Bears, as well as UT Martin and Delaware State.
Oklahoma State enters the weekend’s competition with a 3-2 record on the year, with its remaining two wins coming against SMU and Baylor. This will also mark the Cowgirls’ first action of the spring season, after last weekend’s inclement weather caused matchups with Auburn and South Carolina to be re-scheduled.
The Equitation over Fences squad will look to build upon the momentum gained in the last competition of the fall season, where it picked up two solid road wins. The Wildcats will be led by team captains Kendall Marvin and Jen Rawle, who have combined for four wins on the year. They will be joined in the arena by a trio of seniors, Katie Mellon, Bridget Doyle and Liz Godfrey, that have combined for a 7-6 record on the year, as well as one MVP award. The fences lineup will be rounded out by freshman Kali Yates, who has accumulated a 3-3 record in her rookie campaign.
On the Flat, junior Natasha Vincent was the only rider to take a point from the Cowgirls in the first matchup and will be trying for a repeat performance. The Wildcats will need a strong ride from senior Paige Sullivan, who has accumulated a 3-1 record as well as one MVP Award on the year. Also riding for K-State will be juniors Natasha Vincent and Christina Costello, as well as freshmen Kali Yates, who has ridden to a 3-3 record on the season, and Larissa Laffey who is getting only her second varsity start of the year. Sophomore Stephanie Patterson will earn her first varsity start of the season Saturday after picking up three wins in her freshman campaign.
In the Western arena, the Horsemanship squad will try to avenge its only loss of the year, a 3-2 decision for OSU in the Oct. 17 matchup. The veteran-heavy squad consists of five seniors, led by team captain Alyssa Freeman who has notched a 5-1 record on the year as well as one MVP award. Senior Mikaela Sundgren will look to improve upon an undefeated 6-0 this weekend, while fellow senior Laura Browne will be searching for her third MVP honor and fifth win of the season. The final two seniors in the lineup will be Caley Coffey and Courtney Watters, who has a 4-1-1 record on the season as well as one MVP award. Freshman Hannah Ribera will get her first taste of collegiate varsity equestrian this weekend, as she has earned her first career start.
The Reining squad was the only discipline to notch an outright win over the Cowgirls in the two teams’ first matchup, and it will look for a repeat performance come Saturday. Seniors Tara Hallan and Kaylee Stout both picked up points in their respective matchups, while freshman Sam Etsell picked up the first win of her young career against the Cowgirls. Joining them in the arena this weekend will be senior Morgan Campbell, 4-1-1 with one MVP, as well as junior Alecia Zimbleman. Senior Dani Pettera will see her first action of the season after accumulating 15 wins and two MVP awards throughout her career.
“This weekend’s show is a great opportunity to get a lot of riders in the arena and we will be showing a good mix of seniors and underclassmen,” said Lisabeth. “Our goal for each rider is that they ride with the confidence and consistency that we have seen at home and adjust to the elements on the road as needed.”
The show will also give an opportunity for members of each team to compete in the exhibition arena. Competing for K-State in exhibition competition will be sophomore Jasmin Walters and senior Ashley Collett in the equitation on the flat discipline. In Horsemanship, the Wildcats will feature junior Erica Mackiewicz and sophomore Tiana Shelton, while exhibition reining will see sophomore Alayna Warner compete for the Wildcats.
Competition will get underway at the Animal Science Arena at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Results will be posted as they become available on kstatesports.com.