Western Squad Dominates On Day One of Nationals

Senior Alecia Zimbelman

April 14, 2011

WACO, Texas - The Kansas State equestrian Western squad continued last year's success at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships by sweeping tenth-seeded Tennessee-Martin, 8-0 to advance to the second round of the VENC tournament at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. Ninth-seeded TCU ended the season of K-State's Hunter Seat team by knocking them off, 5-3.

In the Western arena, K-State dominated both sides of the discipline by taking every point from UT-Martin.

In Reining, senior Alecia Zimbelman notched a victory at the VENC for the fourth consecutive season by defeating UT-Martin's Candice Fulcher, 142-139.5. K-State's Alayna Warner picked up a point by edging Skyhawk rider Stephanie Sanders, 136.5-135.5. Sam Etsell, who has not lost a match since February 26, picked up her fifth win in a row by bouncing Hannah Derks of UT-Martin, 136.5-125. Rounding out the scoring for the Reining squad was freshman Jordan Cox who picked up a win over UT-Martin's Michelle Chulock, 142-139.5.

On the Horsemanship side, a foursome of newcomers led the charge against the Skyhawks starting with freshman Rachel Wetherell. The Linn Grove, Iowa native, who went two-for-two in last weekend's Big 12 Championships, picked up a first-round win over Candice Fulcher of UT-Martin by a score of 152-139. Fellow freshmen Kelly Bovaird, Chayna DeNicolo and Hannah Ribera captured victories in their first rides at the VENC.  Bovaird garnered her 10th win of the season over Skyhawk Hannah Derks, 149.5-147. DeNicolo bested UT-Martin rider Stephanie Sanders, 144.5-139, and Ribera knocked off Michelle Chulock, 150.5-143.

In Equitation on the Flat, freshman Rachel Webster was the lone point scorer for the Wildcats, as she bested TCU's Tassie Munroe, 146-130. Today's win marked Webster's fifth victory of the season.

Sophomore Kali Yates picked up her eighth victory of the year by blasting Victoria Lee of TCU, 126-90. Yates was successful in last year's VENC, as she picked up a first-round win over her UT-Martin counterpart. Rounding out the scoring in Equitation Over Fences was freshman Shana Barnett, who out rode Horned Frog rider Callie Selchau, 136-122.

With today's victory, K-State's Western squad advances to face Big 12-rival Oklahoma State at the Extraco Event Center on Friday. The Wildcats will look to pick up their first win over the Cowgirls, as OSU as bested K-State in the two previous matchups this season.

Recaps will be posted at kstatesports.com as soon as they are made available.

- k-statesports.com -