Wildcats To Battle Bears In Big 12 Opener

Junior Meredith Finch

Oct. 11, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After knocking off Division II foe Minnesota-Crookston two weeks ago to open the 2011-12 season, the Kansas State equestrian team will look to duplicate that performance against Big 12 rival, Baylor on Friday at TimberCreek Stables.  Friday’s competition against the Bears(3-0) will be the start of a difficult four-match span for the Wildcats (1-0).

“Going up against Baylor this weekend is definitely going to be a challenge,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “They are a strong team with a lot of depth so our riders are going to have to bring their best effort to the arena and minimize mistakes. We have had some time off competition-wise but are going to take the next few weeks head-on, so it is crucial that we capitalize on what we are doing right and keep challenging ourselves every day in practice.”

In Hunter Seat action, K-State will be led by a slew of riders who picked up wins in the first dual of the season. Sophomore Rachel Webster is among those riders who took home match-MVP honors against Minnesota-Crookston, having been honored in the Fences arena. The Mechanicsville, Va., native will ride in both English events against Baylor.

The Western squad riders also saw their share of success in week one as they notched both match-MVP awards and all but one victory against UMC. Junior Whitney Unkefer is coming off a strong showing in which she was awarded Horsemanship match-MVP honors for the first time in her career at K-State.

Friday’s dual will mark the third-straight year that the Wildcats have opened the conference schedule against Baylor, with K-State winning in back-to-back years. Last season’s meeting came down to a thrilling finish in which K-State knocked off the Bears on a raw score tiebreaker, defeating Baylor by a mere seven and a half points.  

This weekend’s competition will be the first of three remaining regular season matches in Manhattan and admission is free to the public. Below is a list of K-State riders that will be competing against Baylor.

Equitation Over Fences
Catherine Avolese
Shana Barnett
Sarah Mershon
Rachel Webster
Kali Yates

Equitation Over Fences (Exhibition)
Kate Hennessy
Equitation on the Flat
Jacquelyn Bogstad
Meredith Finch
Larissa Laffey
Madison Wayda
Rachel Webster

Equitation on the Flat (Exhibition)
Melanie Hinzpeter
Kali Yates

Jordan Cox
Sam Etsell
Jesse Johnson
Emily Stockford
Alayna Warner
Kelly Bovaird
Chayna DeNicolo
Hannah Ribera
Whitney Unkefer
Rachel Wetherell
Horsemanship (Exhibition)
Amelia Crites
Kelsey Sousa

– k-statesports.com –