by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
January 18, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rifle team has dropped to No. 2 in the latest College Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Poll, as announced today by the association.
The latest rankings are based on team averages for matches shot through Dec. 8, 2009.
Alaska-Fairbanks checks in at No. 1 with an average of 4670.9; the Mountaineers sit behind the Nanooks with an average of 4662.5. TCU is No. 3 (4652.8), while Kentucky (4650.9) and Navy (4613.2) round out the top five.
“Alaska deserves to be No. 1 at this point in the season,” says fourth-year coach Jon Hammond. “They shot a lot of high scores last fall, and they are the hot team in the nation right now.
“I’m happy with where the team is right now. We had a solid start to our spring season yesterday, and I am confident in the direction this team is headed.”
The Mountaineers opened the 2009-10 season with the overall No. 1 ranking. Despite the drop in today’s poll, WVU owns the nation’s best score, 4691, shot in the Nov. 21 victory over the Wildcats.
WVU extended its season-opening win streak to seven matches with a 4678-4561 home victory over NC State yesterday. The Mountaineers are also 4-0 in the Great American Rifle Conference. WVU has not started a season 7-0 since 2003, when the squad opened at 8-0 before ending the year with an 11-2 mark.
Today’s rankings set-up a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, as the Mountaineers play host to the Nanooks (7-0) on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the WVU Rifle Range at 8 a.m. WVU earned its first win over UAF since 1991 last season, defeating the then three-time defending NCAA champion Nanooks, 4653-4634.