By Stasya Hopp | Reporter
No. 9 Baylor equestrian (4-6, 2-3) achieved an 11-8 upset win over No. 4 Fresno State (6-5, 2-2) Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. After last week’s loss to No. 1 Auburn, the Bears maintained their undefeated 9-0 home record with their win over the Bulldogs.
Head coach Casie Maxwell said the team played really well the past two weekends they spent on the road at TCU and Auburn.
“It’s hard to play on the road, to be confident and to be bold, lay out some good scores, and we did that in both of those meets,” Maxwell said. “We planned on coming back and being a little more confident in our home arena with the whole team behind us and a good fan base, and I think we did that today.”
Baylor opened with a 3-2 discipline win over Fresno State in the fences event, led by sophomore Caroline Fuller who’s closing ride earned her the event high score of 87 as well as Baylor’s third point to claim the fences over the Bulldogs. Freshman Savannah Hemby’s opening ride and junior Gia Gulino’s run gained Baylor the first two points of the event. Gulino secured her second Most Outstanding Player nod of the season with an 84 on Calvi.
Freshman Maddy Bomba and sophomore Maggie Cincotta earned Baylor two points in the reigning event, but the Bulldogs tied up the score 5-5 when they topped Baylor with a 3-2 decision.
Bomba said she felt confident with Polly, the horse she rode for reigning, and that Polly felt confident with her. Bomba also noted that she felt her teammates showed their horses really well.
“I’d say we had a couple of silly mistakes which affected some of our performances,” Bomba said. “But overall everyone went in and did what they’d been practicing all week long.”
“I think we’re a lot better than what we’re ranked right now, it just going to take those couple meets when we’re all in sync with each other.”
Fresno State was unable to pull ahead as Baylor held its own. The meet finished with the flat and horsemanship events consecutively occurring on a split arena. Baylor came out on top with a win in both disciplines, with 3-2 and 3-1 victories respectively.
In the flat, seniors Grace Thiel and Madison Day and junior Rachael Davis contributed points to the 3-2 win in the event. Day rode a meet-high 96 on Capistrano, earning her Most Outstanding Player honors.
Courtesy of juniors Kacie Scharf and Katie Davis and freshman Gabrielle Marty, the Bears concluded the meet with a 3-1 decision in horsemanship, giving Baylor the meet victory. Marty earned her third Most Outstanding Player in horsemanship with a score of 76.5 on Vegas.
Maxwell said the team knew playing Fresno State “wasn’t going to be easy,” but they stayed focused and did exactly what they needed to do.
Baylor will be on the road again when they face No. 8 Texas A&M in College Station at 9 a.m. Friday.