College Notebook: DSU battles but falls at equestrian nationals

Delaware State put up a tough fight, but came up short in the opening round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association championship.

The ninth-seeded Hornets fell to No. 8 Kansas State 10-6 at the Extraco Events Center on Thursday.

The Wildcats were 5-3 winners in both the Hunter Seat and Western competitions, although DSU won the overall point tally 2,232-to-2221.5.

In the Western battle, the Hornets and Wildcats battled to a 2-2 tie in Reining, but K-State posted a 3-1 victory in Horsemanship.

All-America Brooke Moore and Elizabeth Koons earned points in Reining for the Hornets. Moore, riding on “Bueno,” posted a team-high score of 138.5, while Koons rode “Tex” to a score of 136.5.

Abigail Buckwater gave DSU its lone win in Horsemanship with a score of 141 on “Skip.”

Moore had a team-best 144.5 in Horsemanship, but was outscored by Kansas State’s Paige Kemper, who tallied 146.5. In the Hunter Seat competition, the teams were even at 2-2 in Fences, but Kansas State outscored DSU 3-1 on the Flat.

All-America Honorable Mention Hayley Anderson led all riders with an impressive score of 160 on “Wyatt” to earn a point in Fences for the Hornets.

Tiffany Lee collected DSU’s other Fences point with a score of 152 on “Tux.” Sofia Zingale had a winning score of 142 on “Milton” for the Hornets’ lone point on the Flat.

Despite the loss, the Hornets raised their national profile considerably during their 2015-16 season. DSU’s journey to the national championship tournament included victories over three teams also competing for this year’s title.

The Hornets posted wins over defending national champ South Carolina, New Mexico State and SMU, which each was nationally-ranked this season. The victories helped key the Hornets’ appearance in the national Top 10 poll for the first time in team history this season.

While a number of riders have contributed to Delaware State’s success this season, senior Brooke Moore and soph. Hayley Anderson stood out the most.

Moore was named 2016 NCEA All-America First Team, becoming the second rider in school history to earn the honor. She is one of four collegians nationwide to receive first team recognition in the discipline of Horsemanship.

During the 2015-16 season, Moore garnered Most Outstanding Performer awards for Horsemanship in competitions against nationally-ranked SMU and Tennessee-Martin. She also had winning rides in Hornet victories over defending champ South Carolina, SMU and New Mexico State.

The Dover native also posted winning scores in Horsemanship and Reining against Georgia and Sacred Heart. She was also undefeated in the United Equestrian Conference Tournament.

Anderson received 2016 NCEA All-America Honorable Mention recognition in Equitation over Fences. She was named United Equestrian Conference Rider-of-the-Month for Equitation over Fences and on the Flat, and was National Rider-of-the-Month for Fences in March.

Her March performances were highlighted by a Most Outstanding Rider award after posting a score of 88 on the Flat to help lead the Hornets to an upset win over defending national champion South Carolina on Mar. 4. She was also victorious on the Flat and in Fences at the United Equestrian Conference Tournament and earned points in DSU’s wins over SMU and Sacred Heart.

Anderson was selected to the 2016 All-United Equestrian Conference Team for Equitation over Fences.

In addition to Anderson, Sofia Zingale has been strong in the saddle for the Hornets’ Hunter Seat team. Zingale’s season has been highlighted by MOP performances on the Flat against New Mexico State and Tennessee-Martin.

English rider Tiffany Lee earned MOP honors in Fences against Sacred Heart, while Vanessa Rabito, Alex Gill and Rachel Dantley have multiple victories for the Hornets this season.

Joining Moore in leading the Western team are Cheyenne Adams, Abigail Buckwalter, Alexis Gratkowski, Lizzy Koon and Emily Fick.

Among Adams’ notable achievements are MOP honors against New Mexico State, SMU, Tennessee-Martin and Sacred Heart.

Buckwalter was the top rider against South Dakota State, SMU and Sacred Heart.

Delaware State’s Jennifer Ridgley was honored as the 2016 United Equestrian Conference Coach-of-the-Year.

Notes

• University of Delaware Athletics will hit the road again this spring when the Blue Hens head downstate to Smyrna High School for a fun-filled day of free entertainment including football action, fun, giveaways, and youth skills clinics today. Blue Hen boys and girls 5 to 12 years of age will participate in either the free football or soccer skills clinics beginning at 10:30 a.m. Select Delaware football, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer student-athletes and coaches will be on-hand to provide on-field sport-specific fun with the registered youth participants for 45 to 60 minutes. The football team will have a practice at noon.

• The Delaware baseball team leads the in CAA in batting (.310), is No. 2 in runs scored (7.8 runs per game), No. 5 in pitching (5.64 ERA), and No. 6 in fielding (.958). Freshman Kyle Baker ranks No. 4 in the CAA in batting average (.396) and ranks No. 3 among freshman nationally in that category.

• Sussex Tech product Lane DeLeon has 41 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41.2 innings this year for the Delaware State baseball team.

• Caesar Rodney grad Seth Brosius has two home runs, 19 RBIs and is batting .285 for the York (Pa.) baseball team.

• Dover High product Ryan McQuaide has appeared in three games for the Yale men’s lacrosse team this season.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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