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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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No. 9 A&M equestrian team primed for first SEC showdown

No. 9 Texas A&M (2-1) will travel to Blythewood, South Carolina to take on the No. 3 Gamecocks (1-2) in a Halloween Day top-10 showdown. The treats are sure to be plentiful for the crowd in this high-caliber matchup.
South Carolina has finished every meet this season two or less points apart from the competition, while the Aggies matches have been one-sided. Victories for A&M include 18-2 and 15-4 victories over UT Martin and South Dakota State.
Head coach Tana McKay, now in her 15th season, looks forward to the first SEC opposition and emphasizes the importance of a perfect performance.
“You still have to have a reality check,” McKay said. “All of the SEC teams have won an overall national championship. That’s just the way it is in the SEC, it’s no different from any other sport. The team may get kind of overwhelmed by that thought, but they understand their job here. There’s a whole different mindset from what we had last year. We’re excited to take that on the road and see if all of this hard work is going to pay off. [The Gamecocks have] always been some of the most talented riders in the SEC. We can’t afford to make any mistakes being on the road against good competition.”
McKay has faith in the team’s ability to stay focused in these high-stake battles.
“What the opposing team does is not going to change our game plan,” said McKay. “I think [the team has] done a much better job on just focusing on what their job is and taking care of what they can take care of, and not worrying about all the other outside factors which come into play when you’re competing against SEC teams on the road in an unfamiliar situation.”
Earlier in the month, the Aggies suffered an upset to SMU by a score of 13-7. McKay reflected on how that loss affected the team.
“They’re better for it,” McKay said. “It was kind of an eye-opener. We had a nice break there between SMU and South Dakota State to really focus on some of the mistakes that we did make. We didn’t have the pressure of a competition but we were able to really focus on some details.”
After last week’s impressive performance at South Dakota State, the Aggie women are looking to carry that momentum into Friday’s meet.
“Winning tiers a lot of things so it helps to have that good momentum, but I don’t feel like [the team] takes anything for granted,” McKay said. “It’s still going to be an extremely tough competition. It’ll come down to just minute details and being able to ride clean and make no mistakes and leave it up to the judge after that. They’re prepared, they’re ready to go.”

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