No. 6 K-State Falls to Top-Ranked UGA on Senior Day

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Five seniors picked up points on the afternoon, but it wasn't enough to propel the sixth-ranked Kansas State Equestrian team past the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs on Senior Day, as the Wildcats dropped a 14-6 decision Sunday at Fox Creek Farm.

"Today was a tough day for our riders," said head coach Casie Lisabeth. "We had some really strong rides that aren't reflected in the total score. I have to hand it to our senior Reining riders for pulling through at the end of the day. They rode with a lot of heart and gained a big win."

K-State (4-6) fell into an early hole against Georgia (10-1) in the Hunter Seat disciplines, falling 4-1 in both Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat. Senior Katie Mellon was able to take her point in Equitation over Fences in her last showing at Fox Creek Farm, riding past UGA's Kacy Jenkins, 77-72. Junior Christina Costello picked up the Wildcat point in Equitation on the Flat, defeating Daisey Whelan, 65-47, to pick up her fourth win of the year.

On the Western side, the Wildcats also struggled in the Horsemanship discipline, dropping a 4-1 decision. Senior team captain Alyssa Freeman finished up her career at Fox Creek on top, defeating Alicia Shrum, 72-67, to improve to 7-2-1 on the year. Freshman Hannah Ribera's ride was good enough to garner MVP honors for the first time in her career in just her third varsity competition.

K-State finally got something going in the Reining discipline, defeating the Bulldogs by a 3-2 margin, with all three points coming from senior riders. Senior Kaylee Stout picked up her first MVP award of the season, and the third of her career, by taking down Georgia's Hannah Dyer, 72-71. Fellow senior Tara Hallan continued her hot streak, winning her fifth straight matchup to improve to 8-2 on the year. Senior Morgan Campbell rounded out the discipline for K-State, riding past Kelly Truesdell, 68.5-65.5, to pick up her 26th career win.

"I couldn't ask for a better last ride at home," said Stout. "It's been an amazing four years, and I couldn't have gotten where I am now without my amazing team and family. Now we just need to focus on having a strong finish for the post season."

The Wildcats did have some success in the exhibition arena with sophomore Stephanie Patterson and junior Natasha Vincent taking home points in Equitation over Fences. In Western, senior Caley Coffey won a point in Horsemanship and senior Dani Pettera won her point in Reining.

K-State will wrap up its regular season schedule with a two-show road trip to Fresno, Calif., next weekend. The Cats will take on No. 10 Fresno State on Saturday before battling it out with No. 2 Auburn on Sunday.