K-State Set to Close Out Regular Season

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The sixth-ranked Kansas State Equestrian will travel to Fresno, Calif., this weekend to close out its regular season schedule by taking on No. 10 Fresno State on Saturday before battling it out with No. 2 Auburn on Sunday.

"This weekend is going to be a lot of fun for our riders," said head coach Casie Lisabeth. "We haven't been to Fresno in a few years, so we are looking forward to being out there for two shows and to ride some different horses. It is an extremely important competition for us as we are wrapping up the regular season."

K-State (4-6) has struggled so far in the spring season after racking up four wins in the fall. The Wildcats will look towards this weekend as a chance to build momentum heading into the Big 12 Championships, which will be held March 26-27 in Waco, Texas.

The Wildcats will be facing some stiff competition this weekend as Fresno State (5-6) was on a five-match winning streak before dropping its last matchup with New Mexico State. Auburn (11-2) comes into Sunday's matchup riding a five-match win streak including a 12-6 trouncing of No. 1 Georgia at home in their last show.

K-State will look to get a fast start out of the Hunter Seat squad this weekend, as it trys to bounce back from a tough senior day loss to top-ranked Georgia last Saturday. In Equitation Over Fences, the Wildcats will look towards seniors Bridget Doyle and Katie Mellon, who has accumulated a 5-2 record on the year, to lead the Wildcats this weekend. Joining them in the arena will be freshmen Kristen Rheinlander and Kali Yates for the Saturday show, with fellow freshman Larrissa Laffey replacing Yates in the lineup on Sunday.

In Equitation on the Flat, K-State will feature senior Ashley Collett, who has won half of her matchups this season. Yates and Laffey will be pulling double-duty this weekend, as they will both show on the flat as well in Fresno. Rounding out the discipline for the Wildcats will be Mellon for Saturday's show, while junior Christina Costello will fill out the lineup on Sunday.

On the Western side of the competition, the Wildcats will look to close out the season on a high note this weekend. The Horsemanship lineup for both days will consist of senior team captains Alyssa Freeman and Laura Browne who have combined for 13 wins and three MVP awards on the season.  Fellow seniors Mikaela Sundgren, 6-3-1, and Courtney Watters, 5-3-1, will round out the lineup.

The Reining squad will look to build upon the momentum gained last weekend when it defeated the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs by a 3-2 margin. Senior Tara Hallan has been on fire in the spring, winning all four of her matchups, including two MVP performances, on the way to her 8-2 season record. Junior Alecia Zimbelman has been almost as impressive, going 3-1 so far in the spring season. Completing the lineup for the Wildcats are a pair of seniors, Kaylee Stout and Morgan Campbell, that have combined for 10 wins and three MVPs on the season.

Competition will get underway at the Student Horse Center at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Results will be posted on kstatesports.com as they become available.

- k-statesports.com -