North Texas Daily

UNT polo has got the horses in the back

UNT polo has got the horses in the back

April 03
17:18 2019

After a nine-point victory over defending champions Texas A&M, the UNT polo club defeated Cal Poly State 27-3 on April 2 in the first round of the U.S. Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championships. UNT and Cal Poly State were the only two teams participating in the first round preliminary game that decided who would play against Virginia in the Final Four. This is the first year that the UNT polo team has competed, but they are ready for the tough competition that Virginia brings.

“They’re very tough to beat,” sophomore Vaughn Miller Jr. said in an interview with the Daily. “But, I think we can do it. We’re a really good team.”

The NIC was founded in 1922 with Princeton University winning the Men’s Intercollegiate Polo trophy. The women’s tournament was introduced in 1976 with Yale taking home first place. In 2018, Texas A&M won both the men’s and women’s tournaments and returns both teams to the NIC this year. Every school except UNT has two teams entered into the tournament.

According to UNT athlete Turner Wheaton, the USPA has organized a new time setup for matches: six 5-minute periods instead of four 7.5-minute periods.

“You add two more strings of horses, which changes a lot,” Wheaton said. “Now the horses aren’t so tired and you’re able to do more for more time.”

Virginia’s team is made of five athletes: Jack McLean, Ignacio Viana, Brennan Wells, Simon Collorado-Mansfeld and Antonio Mendes de Almeida.

When Virginia and UNT played in November, Virginia ran away with a 20-7 victory, but UNT isn’t afraid of a second matchup with them.

“Our attitude and mindset going into this match is gonna need to be believing that we can beat them,” Wheaton said. “We know that the team we are now is better than the team we were last November.”

This win sends UNT to the Final Four, which will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The matchup will transpire on April 4 at 11 a.m. CDT. The other matchup in the Final Four will consist of Cornell and Texas A&M at 1 p.m. CDT. The winners of those two matchups will compete in the championships on April 6.

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Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam

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