Bulldogs Overpower No. 5 Oklahoma State
Oct. 25, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - The No. 9 Fresno State equestrian team overpowered No. 5 Oklahoma State, 10-9, in the Bulldog's home opener Saturday at the Fresno State Student Horse Center.
"It was very exciting to upset Oklahoma State," said head coach Becky Malmo. "OSU rode extremely well, as expected, making it a truly great meet."
The Bulldogs (2-6) dominated the English portion of the meet, winning seven of the ten matches. Fresno State's three English division losses were by a combined eight points, making each maneuver even more important. On the Western side, the Bulldogs took three of the matches, tied in one.
Equitation over fences opened the meet and the first rider of the day, Fresno State's Cambria Kissell, set the pace scoring a meet-high 87, earning MVP honors in the discipline. Teammates Lisa Wells, Kathryn Nenneker, and Casey Jo McDonald followed suit, besting their Cowgirl opponents. Oklahoma State prevented the sweep in the equitation over fences as Ally Blais edged Jennifer Jory, 77-76.
"Cambria has been flying right under the radar for some time now," said Malmo. "She really performed well to begin our season at home."
With the first discipline complete, the Bulldogs led, 4-1.
Horsemanship and equitation on the flat rode simultaneously, shortening the competition period. Following Kissell's example, the first rider in horsemanship, Adrianne Smith, captured MVP honors with her 73.5-71.5 victory over Margaux Tucker. Bulldog Madison Silver captured the Western team's other victory in horsemanship in a 73-72.5 win over Suzanne Randolph of OSU. Sammie Jo Stone, Allie Warkentin and Rebecca Flood each rode well, losing to their Cowgirl counterparts by a combined total of four and a half points.
Bulldogs competing in equitation on the flat simultaneously in the English ring, the Bulldogs trotted away with three wins. Freshman Kimmie Hewson-Budnick was named the MVP for equitation on the flat as she scored a 78 in her ride to overcome Jen McLaughlin, OSU's high-point scorer in the discipline, with 70. Caitlin Marshall and Jessica Kissell picked up wins on the flat to round out Fresno State's 7-3 victory for the English team.
Going into the day's final discipline, reigning, the Bulldogs led 9-6.
Both teams were forced to sit in suspense as the judge refused to announce the scores until all the riders had competed. Keri Blackledge, Jill Tebbe, Elizabeth Thomasian, Haley Henderson, and Kaitlyn Coyes, all sat anxiously wondering if their rides would make or break the Bulldog's lead.
Blackledge's score was announced first, proclaiming a 73.5-73 victory for the Bulldog. Fresno State's Jill Tebbe and OSU's Rachell Shobe each earned a score of 70 in their rides on the same horse, resulting in a tie and thus no score for either team for the rides. The Cowgirls won the other three matches, but the Bulldogs hung on to a 10-9 edge for the win.
"Three of four MVPs is a dominant performance," said Malmo. "Our strong riders all really performed today. We had a lot of fan and university support today, which was great to see."
The Bulldogs travel to Dover, Del., on Nov. 8 for the final show of 2008 as Fresno State takes on Delaware State.
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