No. 1 Rifle Set for Match at No. 12 Ohio State

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 12, 2012 10:55 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team travels to No. 12 Ohio State for a match with the Buckeyes and No. 15 Akron on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Converse Hall, in Columbus, Ohio.

The match is the second straight season-opening road contest for the Mountaineers (1-0, 1-0 GARC), as they won at then-No. 5 Army, 4709-4631, on Oct. 7. In addition to its program-best team score, WVU also shot a school record smallbore score of 2348.

WVU enters the match after reclaiming the nation’s No. 1 ranking on Oct. 8; it is the squad’s first top billing since earning the spot on Oct. 25, 2011.

“We’re hoping to build off last weekend’s success and continue working on making ourselves better,” says seventh-year coach Jon Hammond. “We had a very good performance for our first match of the season. It is good to finally have the first match out of the way; I know everyone is excited to move forward.

“It’s a good, early season challenge to stay on the road and shoot at a different venue. We will return to this range for our NCAA Qualifying match in February and the NCAA Championships in March, so this is a great opportunity for the majority of the team to familiarize themselves with a setting they’ll see again.”

All time, the Mountaineers are undefeated against the Buckeyes (38-0) and the Zips (10-0). In its last meeting, WVU won on the road at OSU, 4680-4616, last season, and trumped Akron, 4694-4540, at the WVU Rifle Range in 2011.

The Buckeyes (0-6) opened the season with a sixth-place finish at the Ole Miss Invitational on Oct. 6, shooting 4590, while Akron (2-2) earned two second-place finishes (4650, 4564) at the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference Open on Oct. 6-7.

In addition to their team success, the Mountaineers enjoyed standout individual performances in their win over Army. Senior Petra Zublasing won air rifle (592), smallbore (591) and aggregate score (1183). Sophomore Thomas Kyanko tied Zublasing for the smallbore win, a personal-best score, and finished second overall with an 1182 mark, also a career high. The Wellsburg, W.Va., native also finished second in air rifle with a score of 591.

Freshman Garrett Spurgeon was stellar in his Mountaineer debut, counting toward the team records and finishing third overall with a combined total of 1179. The Canton, Mo., native also finished third in smallbore (589) and air rifle (590).