Local College Notebook: DSU equestrian program wins first conference title

The Delaware State University equestrian program achieved some history this past weekend, winning its first conference championship.

The Hornets, seeded fourth of four teams, stunned the United Equestrian Conference with clutch late rides in each of their victories.

Delaware State won the championship round over Southern Methodist University. The Hornets needed a win on their final ride of the match to tie the score and were then declared the winner on a tie-breaker.

To even reach the final, the Hornets first had to upset top-seed Fresno State. That matchup was decided by a re-ride — when a rider is given a different horse than the one they originally drew.

Delaware State Western rider Emily Fick was selected as the United Equestrian Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Performer in Horsemanship.

That wasn’t the only honor for the Hornets.

Hornet junior Elizabeth Koons was honored as the UEC’s Reigning Rider of the Year, while DSU’s Jennifer Ridgely shared Coach of the Year honors with Carol Gwin of Southern Methodist.

The conference title helped send the Hornets to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s national team championships.

It’s the second straight year the Hornets have earned a berth in the 12-team event, scheduled for April 13-15 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Tex. DelState also went to nationals in 2014.

The Hornets are the tournament’s 12th seed and will face No. 5 Texas A&M opening round on April 13. The winner will take on No. 4 Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals on April 14.

“We are the little team that could,” said DSU coach Jen Ridgely. “Our girls beat the odds to win the United Equestrian Conference Tournament last weekend and are on a mission to prove they can compete against any team in the country.”

Hens announced ND date

Mike Brey’s return to the Carpenter Center is official. The former Delaware head coach will bring his Notre Dame squad to Newark for a men’s basketball contest against Delaware on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Current Blue Hen coach Martin Ingelsby was an assistant under Brey at Notre Dame.

As of now, the only way fans can guarantee tickets to the Notre Dame matchup is by putting down a new deposit for 2017-18 season tickets.

New season ticket buyers can place a $17.18 deposit per seat for their 2017-18 season tickets by calling 302-831-4493. This non-refundable deposit will be applied during their final purchase upon the selection of seats in the fall.

Placing a deposit will also allow fans to select their seats before season tickets go on sale to the public.

Current season ticket members do not need to place a deposit at this time. Renewal information will be sent out later in the year.

Notre Dame will be the second ACC opponent in the 26-year history of the BCC, and the first since Virginia visited Newark in 1997.

DSU Diamond Extravaganza

Delaware State will honor five individuals for their outstanding contributions to women in sports and education at the 2017 Delaware State University Diamond Extravaganza.

The five being honored are Mary Pat Kwoka (veteran high school and club volleyball coach), Feffie Barnhill (local high lacrosse coach and former U.S. National Team coach/U.S. Lacrosse), Candy Young (former U.S. Olympian and college All-America track & field performer and former DSU Director of Athletics), Michelle Flanagan (Brandywine High cross country coach; Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame) and H. Raye Jones Avery (Executive Director Christiana Cultural Arts Center).

The event is scheduled for April 30 at DSU’s Martin Luther King Student Center at 5 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and $700 for tables, and can be purchased online at www.desu.edu/dde.

Notes

• The Delaware men’s lacrosse team begins CAA play today with a 1 p.m. contest at Massachusetts. The Hens have won their last two games, including beating No. 1-ranked Rutgers.

• With a pair of wins on Thursday, Milford High grad Lindsay Siok improved to 10-4 on the season for the Wesley College softball team. Siok has an ERA of 2.63 this year.

• Dover High product Tevin Thomas has started all 17 games for the Goldey-Beacom baseball squad and leads the team in hitting with a .339 batting average.

• Earlier this week, the University of Delaware announced it will hold its fifth annual Downstate Day on April 22 at Cape Henlopen High. While new Blue Hen football coach Danny Rocco and a few players will be on hand for the event, it will not include an intrasquad scrimmage, which has been the case in past years.

• Former Delaware basketball standout Kory Holden is enjoying South Carolina’s run to the men’s Final Four.

“Why’d you chose South Carolina.. that was dumb” this is why!!!!” he tweeted next to a photo of him with the Gamecocks’ regional championship trophy. Holden is redshirting this season after transferring from UD.

• Former Milford High tennis standout Colt Williamson has a first-singles record of 6-5 as a freshman at Salisbury.

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

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