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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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No. 4 A&M beats Georgia in NCEA quarterfinals, falls to TCU in semifinals

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Texas A&M rider Brooke Brombach during Texas A&M’s match against South Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Hildebrand Equestrian Center. (Adriano Espinosa/The Battalion)

NCEA quarterfinals versus Georgia

No. 4 Texas A&M equestrian clinched its spot in the NCEA semifinals with an 11-7 victory over No. 5 Georgia at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida on Thursday, April 18.

Freshman Kate Egan gave the Aggies the first point of the day on Fences with a narrow 86.33-85 win over sophomore Tessa Brown while riding Tigger. Senior Devon Thomas followed suit with a 89.67-86.67 victory against junior Catalina Peralta on Callisto.

The Maroon and White followed with two dominant performances with junior Brooke Brombach blowing out senior Jennifer Staniloff 85-65.67 on Kalvert and freshman Alida Treuting winning against senior Emma Reichow 80-72 on Steve. The Maroon and White dropped their first points of the day when sophomore Alexa Leong lost to freshman Tessa Downey 87-85.33 on Hardy.

The Aggies quickly bounced back when it came to Reigning with junior Lauren Hanson defeating graduate Caitlin Lyons by the thinnest of margins, 71.83-71.67, on Lucky. Sophomore Gracie Casebolt secured the win against senior Hannah Jane Lucas 68.5-65.67 while riding Tuni.

Senior Keesa Luers gave A&M its final point before the break, prevailing in a close match over sophomore Raegan Shepherd 71.5-71.33 on Bo. Two draws followed with graduate Emmy Lu Marsh tying sophomore Shelby Lynch 72-72 on Kevin and junior Mattie Gustin tying junior Jax Bound at 67.33.

Coming out of the break, the Maroon and White started strong in Horsemanship with junior Millie Landon beating graduate Grace Himes 74.67-64.33 on Charlie. Senior Ella Petak put the Aggies one point away from victory after her win over senior Leah Anderson, 73.33-72.33 on Paddy.

Junior Ellie Gerbrandt failed to clinch the win with a 74.33-73.67 loss against junior Jillian Stopperich on Hector, but graduate Cori Cansdale gave the Aggies the victory by defeating junior Austin Layer 73.83-72.33 on Tari, her sixth win in a row. Junior Hanna Olaussen fell short versus junior Jordan Davis on Mikey, 73.50-71.33.

Despite the loss being secured, the Bulldogs came out swinging in Flat with four straight victories. Thomas lost 85.67-80.67 to senior Sophia Pilla while riding Lui and junior Rylee Schfelt was defeated by Peralta 80-75.67 on Bebe.

A pair of close losses followed with Brombach finishing behind senior Nora Andrews 75.67-73.67 on Barnaby and senior Maggie Nealon coming up short against senior Jordan Toering 80.67-79.67 on Swag. A&M freshman Nicole McMillion won the final event of the meet with a 82-75.67 victory over sophomore Isabella David on Gunner, her first career point.

NCEA semifinals versus TCU

If the Texas A&M equestrian team learns it won’t have to play TCU anytime soon, it’s fair to assume it wouldn’t have any complaints.

The Aggies have lost four meets in a row to the Horned Frogs, with the latest coming in the NCEA semifinals on Friday, April 19. No. 4 seed A&M couldn’t keep up with top-seeded TCU down the stretch, with the Horned Frogs claiming an 11-9 victory to advance to the NCEA Championship against metroplex rival No. 2 SMU.

It marked the second year in a row that A&M’s season came to a close at the hands of TCU, with the Maroon and White falling in the 2023 NCEA quarterfinals, 13-7. With three losses to the Horned Frogs last year, the Aggies haven’t left the matchup with a win since October 2019.

A&M was on pace for a win with a 3-2 lead after the Fences competition, where senior Devon Thomas’ 87.17 points led the way. Sophomore Alexa Leong and freshman Kate Egan each added points to secure the Aggies’ advantage. Junior Brooke Brombach tallied 84 points but fell to TCU sophomore Jordyn Scelsa by a point.

The Horned Frogs evened the score at 6 with a 3-2 showing in Flat, besting the Aggies by four points or more in each victory. Thomas took a loss in her second event of the day, but freshman Nicole McMillion picked up a win along with senior Maggie Nealon’s 76.33-63.67 victory.

TCU grabbed its first advantage with a 3-2 edge in Horsemanship. A&M senior Ella Petak and junior Hanna Olaussen captured wins while graduate Cori Cansdale and junior Ellie Gerbrandt lost their matchups by less than a point each.

The meet came down to Reining as the Aggies entered trailing 8-7. Both squads traded points until the Horned Frogs’ senior Shea Graham locked up a TCU victory with a 71.17-70.33 win over junior Lauren Hanson.

The competition had its share of drama in the final stages, as the disqualification of a TCU rider during Reining was reversed based on the NCEA rulebook. The decision led to the Horned Frogs’ 3 points versus the Aggies’ 2, sending TCU to the championship.

A&M’s season concludes with a 10-5 record featuring a 4-2 mark in SEC play. The Aggies posted a 7-1 showing at the Hildebrand Equine Complex, but were 2-3 in true road matchups. Next season, they’ll search for their first national crown since 2017.

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About the Contributors
Eric Liu
Eric Liu, Sports Writer
Eric is a sophomore computer science major from Houston, TX. He is also double minoring in English and statistics. While at The Battalion, Eric has covered football, men's basketball, baseball, tennis, swim & dive and equestrian.
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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