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Wildcats edge Horned Frogs, 9-7

By The Mercury

The fifth-ranked Kansas State women’s equestrian team continued its winning streak on Friday, edging No. 7 TCU, 9-7 (1458.5-1315), at Timbercreek Stables.

The Wildcats (6-1) defeated their third ranked opponent on the year and extended their winning streak to six meets.

K-State finished the day by sweeping all four Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) awards. This is the first time this season that the Wildcats have earned MOP honors in all four events.

K-State coach Casie Maxwell knew her opponents were strong, but loved how her team responded to the challenge.

“It was a very tough meet and we knew it would be,” Maxwell said. “It came down to every single ride, and they fought tooth and nail to make this one happen and come out with a win.”

The Hunter Seat team once again proved why it is one of the strongest in the conference, outscoring the Horned Frogs, 6-3.

The Wildcats got an early boost in the first event, as the home squad tallied an early 4-1 lead after Equitation Over Fences. Junior Cat Avolese gave the Wildcats the first point of the event, defeating Demi Stiegler ,45-40. Junior captain Rachel Webster earned yet another win, outscoring Courtney Motz by 22 points, 72-50. Webster is now 12-2 on the year.

Sophomore Madison Wayda had the best ride of the day, scoring an 86 and earning the Wildcats’ first MOP of the meet by defeating Haley Jacobi. Senior Kali Yates finished the strong performance by the Wildcats, besting Taylor Alexander of TCU, 78-46, to earn her ninth win of the fall season.

In Equitation on the Flat, the two teams had strong performances and rode out to a 2-2 tie. Senior Larissa Laffey remained undefeated on the season, improving her record to 7-0 after downing Emily Maloof, 78-72. Senior captain Meredith Finch also kept her record unblemished, as she earned MOP honors by scoring an event-high 84 on her ride. Finch’s record also improves to 7-0. Senior Mallory Zila and Wayda each picked up exhibition wins.

On the Western side, multiple ties saw the Horned Frogs slip past the Wildcats, 4-3.

In Reining, freshman Kara Guy gave K-State its lone point, narrowly defeating Katie Gray, 68-67.5. Guy has now won back-to-back matches for the Wildcats. Junior Jesse Johnson scored a 73 on her ride, which earned a tie, but the junior came away with MOP honors with her strong performance.

In Horsemanship, the Wildcats held off TCU to secure a 2-1 event win. Senior Hannah Ribera scored the first Wildcat point, as she defeated Katie Gray, 73-72. Senior Whitney Unkefer scored an impressive 74.5, to secure the second point for K-State and give the senior MOP honors. Freshman Danielle Kemper and junior Chayna DeNicolo earned exhibition wins.

The Wildcats finish the fall season on Nov. 17, as the team travels to Stillwater, Okla. to face Oklahoma State.

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