MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia rifle team defeated Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) opponent Memphis this afternoon, 4678-4616, at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers’ (4-0, 3-0 GARC) excelled in both guns, winning air rifle, 2350-2324, and smallbore, 2328-2292.
Senior Justin Pentz, junior Petra Zublasing and freshmen Taylor Ciotola and Thomas Kyanko counted toward the team’s scores in air rifle and smallbore. Senior Michael Kulbacki also contributed his talent in the air rifle competition, and freshman Meelis Kiisk’s efforts counted toward the team’s smallbore score.
Zublasing finished first overall with a combined score of 1188. The junior also finished first in both guns, scoring 597 air rifle (99, 100, 99, 100, 100, 99) and 591 smallbore (199 prone, 196 standing, 196 kneeling). Today’s smallbore score is a personal best for Zublasing, topping her score of 588 from February’s match against Columbus State in Lexington, Ky.
“Petra was definitely the highlight again, especially her smallbore score – her highest in college - followed by a high air rifle score. Her aggregate score also was exceptional,” says Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “Justin's smallbore was a pretty big highlight. Everyone else on the team shot solidly.”
Pentz finished second overall with a combined score of 1173. The Tigers were paced by sophomore Dan Hermsmeier, who finished third overall with a combined score of 1166.
Pentz tied for second place in air rifle with Memphis’ Hermsmeier with a score of 588. Kiisk (587) and Kyanko (585) finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Memphis’ Kelly Audet (584) and Max Burkhardt (581) took sixth and seventh place, respectively. The Mountaineers followed Memphis with Kulbacki (580), junior Chance Cover (578) and Ciotola (577).
Pentz also tied for second place in smallbore with the Tiger’s Linn Larsen, as each shot 585. Kyanko took fourth place with a score of 579, while Memphis’ Hermsmeier (578) finished fifth. WVU freshman Amy Bock (574) finished in sixth place, and Ciotola (573) placed seventh. Of note, Bock shot a school-record 200 prone score.
The victory brings WVU to a 6-2 record against the Tigers.
“We wanted to come out and do the same thing again (as last weekend),” Hammond says. “Tomorrow, they’ll give their best effort and hopefully will improve some scores from today.”
The Mountaineers face No. 9 Murray State (1-1) tomorrow at 8 a.m. at the WVU Rifle Range. Live stats can be found at www.MSNsportsNET.com.