No. 1 Rifle Welcomes No. 10 Memphis

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 15, 2012 01:18 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a two-win weekend, the No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team opens its home season at the WVU Rifle Range against Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe No. 10 Memphis on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The Mountaineers (3-0, 1-0 GARC) return to Morgantown on the heels of wins over No. 12 Ohio State (4690-4594) and No. 15 Akron (4690-4571) in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 13. WVU opened the season shooting a program-best 4709 in its season-opening win at GARC opponent Army on Oct. 7.

“The team is definitely ready to shoot in its own range,” says seventh-year coach Jon Hammond. “It’s been good to go on the road and be tested in difficult matches, but it’s always nice to open your home season. Tomorrow will be a little different because we’re shooting on a week day, but there’s a comfort level that comes with shooting at home, and I think that will help push us toward a good score.”

WVU is 6-2 all-time against the Tigers (0-2, 0-1 GARC) and earned a 4678-4616 win at the WVU Rifle Range last season. Memphis finished third at the Tiger Open on Oct. 8, shooting 4597 and losing to UT-Martin (4601) and Ole Miss (600).

Senior Petra Zublasing again led the Mountaineers to victory last weekend, shooting winning 592 scores in smallbore and air rifle. Sophomore Taylor Ciotola tied Zublasing for the air rifle win, while freshman Garrett Spurgeon shot 591 and finished third; Spurgeon also finished second in smallbore with a 582 mark.

“I saw some good consistency between our first two matches,” Hammond explains. “I don’t expect high scores every match, but the consistency is really good, especially in smallbore. The team fought hard at Ohio State and had a solid match. We’ve proven to ourselves already that we can shoot high scores, and now I will be tracking how each student-athlete deals with new and different situations.”

As a note, the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association will be releasing this week’s rankings on Wednesday.

Tomorrow’s match will begin at 9 a.m. with a WVU-only relay. The Mountaineers and the Tigers will line-up together at 2 p.m. for the day’s second relay. A link for live scores is available HERE.