MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A record-setting air rifle relay and a strong career debut for Petra Zublasing proved to be a winning combination for the No. 1 West Virginia rifle team, as the Mountaineers defeated visiting Akron 4694-4540, this evening at the WVU Rifle Range.
Returning to the range after an eight-week break, WVU (8-1, 5-0 GARC) shot a school-record 2374 air rifle, the highest discipline score ever shot according to the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association. The mark trumps the team’s previous record of 2368, shot on Jan. 21, 2010.
Sophomore Zublasing (597), as well as seniors Nicco Campriani (595), Tommy Santelli (592) and Andy Lamson (590), combined for the Mountaineer air rifle record and finished in the discipline’s top four spots; Lamson’s score is a season high.
“The air rifle score was a combination of a solid team effort,” says fifth-year coach Jon Hammond. “Petra had a huge impact on today’s results, while Tommy and Andy both enjoyed a good, solid day in the range.”
WVU also shot 2320 smallbore for a discipline sweep; the Zips shot 2297 air rifle and 2243 smallbore.
Zublasing, an Appiano, Italy, native, finished first overall with an aggregate score of 1183. Additionally, she shot 586 smallbore and finished in first place.
“I expect Petra to continue to impact our scores throughout the remainder of the season,” Hammond explains.
Santelli and Campriani each shot an aggregate total of 1175 and finished in second place, while senior Brandi Eskew finished in fourth place with a season-best combined score of 1172.
Ryan Stein paced the Zips with an 1141 aggregate score.
Eskew put together one of her best matches of the year, shooting a season-high 585 smallbore and finishing in second place. The Petersburg, W.Va., native also finished behind the record-setting quartet in air rifle with a season-high score of 587.
“Brandi was really solid today and I was happy with her performance,” Hammond says.
Santelli and Campriani shot 583 and 580 smallbore, respectively, and finished in third and fourth place.
Today’s win pushes WVU’s perfect series record over Akron to 9-0.
The Mountaineers will now prep for a Jan. 22 showdown with No. 2 Alaska-Fairbanks at the WVU Rifle Range, at 8 a.m.