Wildcats Edged By Cowgirls in Home Finale

Kelly Bovaird

March 17, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. –Despite notching three of four match-MVP awards and outscoring Oklahoma State by 41 in raw-scoring, the eighth-ranked Kansas State equestrian team was downed by the fourth-ranked Cowgirls, 11-9, Saturday on Senior Day at TimberCreek Stables. 

K-State used a late charge by the Reining squad to pull within one point before Oklahoma State’s Caroline Daniels, who was the last rider of the day, eeked out a 79-75 victory over her K-State counterpart to seal the heartbreaking loss for the Wildcats.  

“I am extremely proud of our riders for their performances today,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “We were strong and confident today and the hard work that they have put in the practice arena was evident in their performances today. Unfortunately, the cards just did not fall in our favor but I am proud of each and every one of them and they are proud of themselves and each other.”

“Furthermore, we had a great showing from our partners in Fort Riley's 4-1 Brigade Support Battalion unit, recognized seven awesome seniors and earned three of four match-MVP awards, so I would say that today was a success.”

In Hunt Seat action, K-State (5-7) and Oklahoma State (8-4) tied, 5-5, with the Wildcats taking the point in Fences action, 3-2, and the Cowgirls earning the Flat point by the same margin. 

K-State’s Cat Avolese earned the first match-MVP award of her Wildcat career as she out-rode Oklahoma State’s Samantha Harrison, 84-79.  A second-year rider from St. James, N.Y., Avolese has now notched six victories on the season.

Sophomore Sarah Mershon defeated Samantha Elser of OSU, 80-79, to pick up her team-high-tying 10th win of season. Mershon has now won six matches in a row, which is currently the longest winning-streak of any Wildcat rider this season. Freshman Madison Wayda edged Cowgirl rider Maggie Gampfer, 81-80, to close out the scoring for the Wildcats in Fences action. 

Junior Meredith Finch garnered her English team-high third match-MVP of the year as she bested OSU’s Jordan White, 82-77. Fellow junior Larissa Laffey joined Mershon in the double-digit win category as she earned her 10th victory of 2011-12 by riding past Oklahoma State rider Allison Dooman, 62-55. 

On the Western side, Oklahoma State slipped past K-State, 6-4. The Cowgirls started out the discipline by downing K-State, 4-1 in Horsemanship before the Wildcats took home a 3-2 victory over OSU in Reining. 

Sophomore Kelly Bovaird was the lone point scorer for K-State in Horsemanship as she earned her second match-MVP award of the year by defeating Mamie Tomlin of OSU, 80-78. The Tulsa, Okla., native has now won four matches in a row and nine overall for the year. 

In Reining, K-State was led by junior Sam Etsell and sophomores Jordan Cox and Emily Stockford. Etsell out rode OSU’s Katy Krshka, 74.5-72, to notch her seventh win of the season, while Cox and Stockford downed Cowgirl riders Rachel Houchin and Christy McElreath, respectively. 

K-State will be off next weekend as it prepare for the 2012 Big 12 Championship which will be held at TimberCreek Stables in Manhattan on March 30-31. This event is free and open to the public. Check back with kstatesports.com for information and updates regarding the upcoming postseason schedule.