MORGANTOWN, W.VA. - The No.3-ranked West Virginia rifle team defeated No. 12 Nebraska, 4667-4610, today at the NU Rifle Range, in Lincoln, Neb.
The Mountaineers (2-0, 1-0 GARC) topped the Huskers (0-2, 0-1 GARC) in both guns, winning air rifle, 2354-2325, and smallbore, 2313-2285.
Seniors Justin Pentz and Michael Kulbacki, junior Petra Zublasing, redshirt-freshman Thomas Kyanko and freshman Taylor Ciotola combined for the team’s scores.
“Petra was the highlight, but there were a lot of good performances in there,” says coach Jon Hammond. “Overall it was a good, steady start to the season. Hopefully we will shoot higher scores in the future, but it’s nice to get the season under way.”
Zublasing finished first overall with a combined score of 1183. The Appiano, Italy, native also finished first in both guns, shooting 587 smallbore (198 prone, 196 standing, 193 kneeling) and 596 air rifle (100,100, 99, 99,100, 98).
Kyanko finished second overall with a score of 1171, followed by freshman Meelis Kiisk with an overall score of 1159. Pentz finished fourth with a score of 1156, and Ciotola and Kulbacki tied with the Huskers’ Janine Dutton for fifth with scores of 1151.
Kyanko also finished second in air rifle with a score of 590. Kulbacki took third place (587) and Kiisk placed sixth (583), as Nebraska’s Dutton and Sheena Mahloch (584) finished in fourth place. Pentz and Ciotola tied with the Huskers’ Kelsey Hansen for seventh with 581.
“We had a personal best from Thomas in air rifle, and Meelis had a personal best in smallbore,” says Hammond.
Kyanko’s 581 smallbore score earned him second place, while Nebraska’s Katelyn Woltersdorf paced the Huskers with a score of 580. Kiisk’s score (576) was good enough for fourth place, and Pentz finished fifth (575).
Today’s match improves the Mountaineers to a 7-3 all-time record against the Huskers. The victory is WVU's first Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) win of the season season; the Mountaineers are the two-time defending conference champions.
Hammond’s squad will open its home season against No. 7 Army at the WVU Rifle Range on Oct. 22. The match will start at 8 a.m.