Top Teams Show Their Strength at NCEA National Championship
RELEASE: April 19, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Andrew Minnick
South Carolina's Western team pulled the only upset of the day Friday and kept the Gamecocks in contention for the overall National Championship (Cory Burkarth)
- The top teams at the NCEA Championship showed their strength Friday during the quarterfinal round of the NCEA National Championship Tournament. The only upset of the day was a minor one, and it belonged to the fifth seeded South Carolina Western team which took a 5-3 descision over fourth seeded TCU.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after reining, and after a 2-2 tie in Horsemanship earned their place in Saturday's semi-final. Facing a familiar foe in league competitor Texas A&M, the number two seed USC hunters were led by Kimberly McCormack and Katherine Schmidt, who both earned Euitation over Fences and On the Flat Points, on the way to a convincing 6-3 win.
"This was a big win for us and one I think we were very prepared for," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "I was exceptionally proud of our Reiners for their shutout today against a talented TCU team, and our Horsemanship team got us the points we needed in the second half which was great."
South Carolina's Hunter Seat team will face number three seeded Georgia Saturday, while the Western team will take on the very talented Oklahoma State western squad. With their hunters out, OSU's Western team is their only reaminign chance at a National Championship this year. The number one seeded Cowgirls look poised to make a run at that title. They faced a game and motivated Auburn team Friday, but behind their sophmore super standout Katy Krshka they carried a 3-1 win in Reining to a 5-3 win overall.
Freshman Elizabeth Benson was one of three Auburn hunters to earn two points in the Tigers 8-0 victory over South Dakota State (Auburn Athletics)
Auburn's hunters were more succesful though. They dominated South Dakota State 8-0 and head into their semi-final match with number one seed Baylor riding high.
“Sweeping the points is such a good feeling going into tomorrow,” said Auburn Fresman Christina Lin. “Riding against Baylor will be a little more of a challenge for us, but if we’re as strong as we were today, we definitely should be in good shape."
The Bears, conversely, narrowly escaped UT Martin 4-3 thanks in part to Samantha Schaefer's two points."That was a little closer than we wanted it to be," remarked coach Ellen Whitesaid. Their matchup with Auburn will be a must-see.
Georgia earned a number three seed in both brackets, and they handily won both of their quaterfinal matchups Friday. The Hunter Seat team took out Southern Methodist 6-2, and the Bulldog Western team defeated Texas A&M 5-2.
Rounding out the day's action was Western number two seed Kansas State's 8-0 win over South Dakota State. The Wildcats will face Georgia in the Semifinals.
Overall National Championship Picture
Forgive the pun, but It's a two horse race now. WIth their Western and Hunter Seat teams advancing to the semi-finals, the National Championship could very well be decied by the Hunter Seat matchup between SEC rivals Georgia and South Carolina Saturday. If either team wins both their semi-final matches, they will most likely have clinched the overall National Championship
Updated NCEA National Championship Brackets are available here
A live stream of the NCEA National Championship is available on the NCEA website
Live scoring is available online at www.baylorbears.com