MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University rifle team continued its undefeated streak after triumphing over Ole Miss, 4671-4646, in today’s match at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (6-0, 4-0 GARC) lost the air rifle competition, 2348-2349, for the first time this season but once again won the smallbore contest, 2323-2297.
“It was nice to get a win and it was still a solid score against a Mississippi team that had been shooting well this year, so I think it wraps up a good solid semester for us,” says WVU coach Jon Hammond.
Contributing their talent to the team’s overall score were seniors Justin Pentz (air rifle, smallbore) and Michael Kulbacki (air rifle), junior Petra Zublasing (air rifle, small bore), and freshmen Taylor Ciotola (smallbore), Meelis Kiisk (air rifle, small bore) and Thomas Kyanko (air rifle, smallbore).
“Some of the guys maybe didn’t shoot a score they would have liked but that’s just a sign of their youth - they’re going to have good days and bad days,” says Hammond. “Petra and Justin showed their experience.”
Zublasing finished first overall and in both guns, coming in first place air rifle with a score of 598 (100, 100, 99, 99, 100, 100) and smallbore with a score of 592 (197 prone, 197 standing, 198 kneeling.)
The Rebels’ (4-2, 1-3 GARC) Melissa Quartarone took second place overall (1172) while Pentz’s score (1168) was good enough for third place. Ole Miss took fourth and fifth place with scores of 1160 by Keely Stankey and 1158 by Abbey Stanec. WVU’s Kyanko placed sixth with a score of 1157 and Kulbacki tied Kiisk for seventh place with scores of 1155. Freshman Amy Bock’s score (1154) was good enough for eighth place.
Pentz tied with Ole Miss’ Quartarone and Stankey with scores of 589 for second place in air rifle. The Rebels’ Stanec (586) and Alivia Yeager (585) finished in fifth and sixth places. Kiisk’s score (582) was good enough for seventh place.
Quartarone finished second place in the smallbore competition with a score of 583. The Mountaineers claimed the next six spots; Pentz and Kyanko tied for third with scores of 579, Bock came in fifth with a score of 577, Kulbacki finished sixth (576), Kiisk and Ciotola tied for seventh place with scores of 573.
“We’ll keep training through finals and some of the team will go to the Olympic trials in early December,” explains Hammond. “Really it’s a chance to get some rest over Christmas break.”
Hammond’s squad will begin their spring campaign on Sat. Jan 14 at the WVU Rifle Range.