COLUMBIA, S.C. - Fourth-ranked South Carolina will close out the regular season this weekend, as the Gamecocks will travel to compete at No. 8 Kansas State on Friday and at No. 3 Oklahoma State on Saturday. It will mark the end of the the Gamecocks' first regular season in the SEC era.
"We're looking forward to going on the road and having the opportunity to compete against two tough Big-12 opponents this weekend," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "Since all of our postseason competitions will take place on the road, this will be one final test to see where we are and where we need to improve. We faced Oklahoma State in the season opener, and if you look at their results this season, it's easy to see they're a good team because they've scored a bunch of points on some other teams. Kansas State was a top-5 team at the beginning of the week, and even though they slipped a few spots, they're just as good at No. 8 as they were at No. 5"
MAKING HISTORY For the first time ever, the Gamecocks will open and close the regular season against the same opponent. South Carolina opened the regular season at home against Oklahoma State on Sept. 29. The Gamecocks will close out their regular season with a road meet at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
SERIES HISTORY - OKLAHOMA STATE Last dual meet: The Gamecocks and Cowgirls last met in the 2012-2013 season opener on Sept. 29. South Carolina got eight points from its Hunt Seat team and five from the Western team to defeat the Cowgirls, 13-7.
Last season: The Gamecocks dropped a 10-9 decision to Oklahoma State on Jan. 29, 2012 to open the spring season in Blythewood. The two teams would meet in April at Nationals in the Hunt Seat bracket, where the Gamecock defeated Oklahoma State 5-3.
Last meeting in Stillwater: The Gamecocks have not been to Stillwater, Okla. since the 2007-2008 season. South Carolina suffered one of its worst losses ever, as the Gamecocks fell 16-3. Allison Bradley picked up points in Horsemanship and Reining for the Gamecocks, and Nicole Bourgeois won her jumping point while being named MVP.
SERIES HISTORY - KANSAS STATE Last dual meet: South Carolina last competed in Manhattan, Kan. during the 2010-2011 season. That Gamecock team went 1-8 during the regular season away from Blythewood, including an 11-9 loss to the Wildcats on Oct. 29, 2010. South Carolina won three of four MVP's, missing the four-MVP sweep because the Gamecocks suffered a 5-0 sweep to the Wildcats in Equitation on the Flat. Alex Arute (Equitation Over Fences), Hailey Thornton (Horsemanship), and Chloe Gray (Reining) all won MVP honors during the meet.
Last season: In the Hunt Seat bracket at Nationals, the Gamecocks and Wildcats met in the fifth place competition on the final day of action in Waco. As expected, South Carolina cruised to a 7-1 victory.
SCHMIDT HAPPENS Sophomore Katherine Schmidt currently leads the Gamecocks with 12 wins this season. Schmidt has identical 6-4 records in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences. She also has a pair of MVP's, both of which have come on the Flat. She has put up three straight 2-for-2 performances for the Gamecocks, winning a combined six points in Carolina's meets at Auburn (Feb. 14), vs. Texas A&M (Feb. 23), and vs. Delaware State (March 1).
CHEEZIN' WITH CHEETO Sophomore Sam Chiodo currently leads the Western team with an 8-1 record. Chiodo has already matched her win total from her freshman campaign.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE SMITH Redshirt freshman Samantha Smith is tied for second on the team with 10 wins. Smith is off to a 10-4-1 start for the Gamecocks, highlighted by a 6-1-1 record in Equitation Over Fences. She is currently 4-3 in Equitation on the Flat, winning her first career MVP on the Flat at Texas A&M in November. Smith went 2-for-2 for the Gamecocks last week against Delaware State, and currently leads the freshman class in wins.
HIGH FIVE Sophomores Layla Choate and Cody McMillion currently lead the Reining team with five wins each. Choate is 5-2-2 this season for the Gamecocks, while McMillion is 5-3 with one MVP. Last year, the duo combined for 16 wins and six MVP's.
ROAD WARRIOR Freshman Kelsey Urban is 5-3 for the Gamecocks this season. Urban went just 1-3 in Blythewood this season, but the Connecticut native is a perfect 4-0 on the road. Urban proved herself in Carolina's first road meet of the season, as she won her first point and first MVP at then-No. 1 Georgia on Nov. 1. She also had road wins at Texas A&M, Baylor, and Auburn.