No. 4 EQ falls to No. 8 TCU in tiebreaker

Jumping seat junior Dominika Silvestri set a career-high score of 88 in Fences against TCU Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. The score gave Baylor a point and earned Silvestri Most Outstanding Performance honors. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Joe Pratt | Sports Reporter

No. 4 Baylor Equestrian (4-5, 2-3 Big 12) fell short in their meet against No. 8 Texas Christian University (7-5, 1-3 Big 12) by way of a tiebreaker Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.

After finishing the field events, the Bears and Horned Frogs were tied at 9-9. The judges added up the total amount of points earned in the raw score tiebreaker format, where they declared TCU the winner by a score of 1489-1481.5. Head coach Casie Maxwell said her girls have done well despite three-straight losses, but need to clean up some mistakes.

“It is definitely disappointing,” Maxwell said. “We had some outstanding performances in all four events, but in the second half of the season, when we’re preparing for the postseason, especially when we’re in conference play, you can’t afford to make some of the mistakes we made.”

Impressive rides from jumping seat junior Dominika Silvestri and senior Caroline Fuller, scored 88 and 79 points respectively, to help push the Bears over the Horned Frogs 3-2 in the Fences event. As junior Maddie Vorhies‘ score of 66 sealed the event for the Bears. Silvestri, whose score of 88 was a career-high and earned Most Outstanding Performer honors, said it’s important to get ahead early.

“I think you have to start fast to keep the momentum going because if you lose the first three points, that’s just three more that you have to make up,” Silvestri said. “I think it really changes that dynamic when you are up one at the beginning to help carry you throughout the meet.”

Horsemanship ended in a 2-2 tie after western junior Gabrielle Marty and TCU’s western sophomore Shea Graham both recorded a score of 77. Western sophomore Bella Rosa and freshman Nadalee Vasquez put the points on the board for Baylor with career-high rides of 75 and 78, respectively. Vasquez’s ride earned her, her first ever MOP.

TCU responded coming out of the half, taking Flat 3-2. Jumping seat sophomore Emma Fletcher‘s score of 74.5 and Fuller’s 76.5 secured the points for Baylor.

In Reigning, western juniors Jenna Meimerstorf and Andie Pratt contributed to the tally with a 71.5 and 72, while senior Madaline Callaway tied her matchup at 73. The tie caused the 2-2 split, forcing the raw-score decision which ultimately gave the Horned Frog their revenge from their 14-6 loss in the fall.

“Unfortunately today we just had too big of a deficit to make up, even with the really great rides that we had,” Maxwell said. “I know they’ll bounce back, but I know TCU was hungry to beat us too because we beat them pretty handily in the fall.”

Silvestri stressed the importance of cleaning up mistakes despite some impressive rides today and hopes to have them fixed before their next meet.

“I think that everyone rode really phenomenal today, and the confidence is really high,” Silvestri said. “We did have a couple small mistakes, but definitely fixable for our meet against South Carolina next week and in the next couple practices.”

Baylor welcomes the University of South Carolina (0-7, 0-4 SEC) at 11 a.m. Friday for Senior Day at the Willis Family Equestrian Center and will be looking to get back in the win column.