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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M equestrian takes on No. 2 Auburn at home Friday

Equestrian
Photo by File
Equestrian

Aggie equestrian will take on an undefeated Auburn team to battle for an SEC title run, and ultimately an NCEA national championship.

The No. 5 Aggies (3-1) will challenge the No. 2 Auburn Tigers (4-0) in their second home-meet of the season in the Hildebrand Equine Complex at 11:00 a.m. Friday. Despite both teams having only competed in four matches so far this season, they do have one common bond — a stomping win over the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks.

“I think [beating South Carolina] just sets us up for continued success,” senior Hannah Jechow said. “It’s definitely exciting to say that it was an upset and that we beat them, but we have really been focusing as a team on making ourselves and our horses better. It’s not going to be so much about beating Auburn because we beat South Carolina. It’s more about continuing the progress and the success that we’re having this season.”

To raise the stakes, the Tigers have also clinched a win over the defending champions. Auburn head coach Greg Williams said he was excited for more road meets after traveling to South Carolina and beating the Gamecocks. The Tigers were able to dominate USC by a 14-6 score led by Elizabeth Benson, who earned September NCEA honors for Equitation Over Fences.

The Tigers’ furious start to the season has been topped off by their win over South Carolina, but this doesn’t take away from their other controlling wins. To start the season, Auburn loosely struggled against Tennessee-Martin to get a 13-7 win and followed with a 12-0 sweep against Alabama. The Tigers have also beaten Oklahoma State, but have had a couple weeks of rest to prepare for A&M. In contrast, A&M’s Anna Rea said she prefers to have the busy schedule.

“I like how we have a lot of meets back-to-back,” Rea said. “It gives you time where you have to move on and think about the next thing; you don’t really have time to get into the extreme details that mess up your head … I feel like that’s what’s setting us up for success recently and we have been all in strides and hopefully we can keep that up for one more weekend.”

As for A&M, the team opened the season on a bitter note with a 10-9 fight-to-the-finish loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. However, the team has since countered with a clear 14-1 win over New Mexico State and a tie-breaking win against Fresno State. Finally, they returned home to beat South Carolina and now look to top the Tigers. Assistant coach Jessie Weisinger said Rachel Lucht’s performance has really stood out.

“All of our riders are extremely competitive,” Weisinger said. “We’re really deep with talent here at A&M. Yes, we have those top five girls that are in the starting lineup, but we have some freshmen that are starting to work their way up into the ranks. The five girls who started last year are doing well — Rachel Lucht, who is one of my horsemanship riders, just came off of a great October; she won all of her points … She laid out a 77.5 which was her career high.”
The meet will feature a resurging Texas A&M and a powerhouse Auburn program that will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Hildebrand Equine Complex.

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