Rifle: No. 3 WVU Set to Take on No. 1 TCU

  • By Ashleigh Pollart
  • |
  • January 27, 2012 02:25 PM
  • |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team will travel to No. 1 TCU on Saturday, Jan. 28, for an 8 a.m. match at the TCU Rifle Range in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Mountaineers (9-0, 4-0 GARC) own a 3-1 series record over the Horned Frogs (7-0).

“Ultimately, it’s just another match, whether we’re shooting against TCU or a team that’s not ranked in the top 20,” explains coach Jon Hammond. “We’re really shooting against ourselves. We talk about this a lot - we can’t control what the opposition does or how it performs.”

TCU claimed first place at the 2010 NCAA Rifle National Championships. TCU placed third at the 2011 championships while WVU claimed second. Last year’s regular-season meeting between TCU and WVU left the Mountaineers with one of their two losses of the season, a 4675-4663 decision.

Hammond’s squad is coming off two victories this past weekend; the Mountaineers outshot No.5 Alaska, 4676-4626, at the WVU Rife Range, and claimed a win at Ohio State, 4680-4616.

Last week’s match against the Nanooks saw WVU’s top shooter, junior Petra Zublasing, sit out due to a knee injury. The other members of the WVU rifle team stepped up to the challenge by dominating Alaska in the air rifle (2358-2339) and smallbore (2318-2287) competitions. Freshmen Taylor Ciotola and Thomas Kyanko tied for first place overall with scores of 1170. Ciotola’s overall score was a personal best, as was his smallbore score of 584. WVU’s win tied the series record at 6-6.

Sunday’s match at OSU also proved to be a day of personal-best scores; Ciotola shot 589 air rifle and Kyanko matched the school-record 200 prone. Back in the range, Zublasing secured first place overall (1180) and in both guns, winning air rifle (592) and smallbore (588).

“We feel good; we definitely learned a lot from last weekend,” says Hammond. “Going on the road to shoot against the No. 1 team obviously brings its own challenges, but we’re certainly looking forward to it.”

Saturday’s match is expected to last into the afternoon.