September 20, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. –
For the fourth consecutive season, the University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team hosts a ranked opponent in its season opener as the Skyhawks will take on the No. 3 Auburn Tigers at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.

This marks the third time in the last four years that UT Martin has hosted Auburn in its first competition of the season, as the Tigers also visited Martin in 2014 and 2015. The Skyhawks hosted No. 4 Texas A&M to start off the 2016-17 campaign.

Head coach Meghan Corvin is in her 12th season at the helm of the UT Martin equestrian program, as the Skyhawks will make a bid for their 10th postseason appearance in 2017-18. She presides over a roster of 37 student-athletes, which includes 16 returners and 21 newcomers.

Sophomore Randi LaChance leads nine returners in the Hunt Seat discipline, as she will look to build off a NCEA All-American honorable mention season in 2016-17. She and fellow returner Claire Ottinger each shared the team lead with four team point in equitation on the flat last season. Meanwhile, junior Monika Zoromski paced UT Martin in equitation on the flat MOP’s (two) and equitation over fences team points (six) in 2016-17.

The Skyhawks’ Western roster includes seven returners, all of which secured at least one head-to-head victory last season. Sophomore Bobbie Piddock paced UT Martin in horsemanship team points (four) and MOP’s (two) last year while sophomore Liana Nowak (team-high five team points) and Madeline Williams (team-best two MOP’s) excelled in reining.

The returners will be challenged by a talented group of newcomers, which includes 19 freshmen. Thirteen of the Skyhawk newcomers are proficient in the Hunt Seat discipline while there are nine newcomers to the Western discipline for UT Martin in 2017-18.

Auburn advanced to the NCEA Final Four last season under head coach Greg Williams, who is in his 23rd season overseeing his alma mater. Juniors Hayley Iannotti (team-high 12 wins in equitation on the flat) and Caitlin Boyle (11 equitation over fences victories) lead the Tigers’ Hunt Seat returners while sophomore Kara Kaufmann (team-best 11 horsemanship wins) and senior Alexa Rivard (team-high 10 victories in reining) pace the Western returners.

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