MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team plays host to a pair of squads at the WVU Rifle Range this weekend, as it welcomes Memphis on Saturday, Oct. 29, and No. 9 Murray State on Sunday. Both matches will begin at 8 a.m.
The Mountaineers (3-0, 2-0 GARC) return to the range for the first time since reclaiming the nation’s top ranking in this week’s College Rifle Coaches Association Poll. The squad was last ranked No. 1 in March prior to the 2011 NCAA Championships.
This weekend marks the second time in October WVU will face off against two opponents in as many days; the Mountaineers previously swept Air Force and Nebraska, in Lincoln, Neb., on Oct. 15-16.
“We are right in the busy part of our fall schedule, and we’ll be looking to continue the improvement with our overall performances and the technical aspects we have been working on,” says sixth-year Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “Two matches back-to-back definitely pose a challenge to our endurance, but the whole team has been training hard. This weekend will be a good test of our focus.”
WVU owns series advantages over both opponents, including a 5-2 edge over the Tigers (0-1, 0-1 GARC), also a member of the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC), and a 19-3 lead over the Racers (1-1).
Junior Petra Zublasing leads the Mountaineers in both guns through three matches, as the Appiano, Italy, native is averaging 597.67 air rifle and 584.33 smallbore.
The Mountaineers are coming off a commanding 4693-4637 victory over then-No. 6 Army on Oct. 22 in their home season opener; the team’s score was 11 shots off the school record, 4704, shot three times throughout the 2010-11 season.
Zublasing paced the squad against the Black Knights, shooting a collegiate-record 600 air rifle and 586 smallbore for a 1186 combined total. Zublasing’s air rifle score also matched the WVU record; she is believed to be the first female collegiate shooter to earn the achievement.
Both matches this weekend are expected to last into the afternoon. Fans wishing to follow the Mountaineers from home can find a link for live stats HERE