MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team shot two team records en route to its dominating 4720-4624 win over visiting No. 9 Ole Miss, today, at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers’ (6-0, 3-0 GARC) team score is an NCAA record and the squad’s third school-record total shot this season. The mark bested the previous national record of 4717, shot in WVU’s victory over Memphis on Oct. 16. WVU has shot below 4700 only once this season.
“Today was a great performance by the whole team,” says coach Jon Hammond. “I was looking for that consistency, and a lot of them stepped up and had a good match. Everyone played his or her part, and we once again pushed the bar higher.”
The Mountaineers trumped their Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) opponent in both guns, winning air rifle, 2376-2335, and smallbore, 2344-2289. WVU’s air rifle mark matched the school record, previously shot in a win over Nebraska on Nov. 12, 2011.
Six Mountaineers received credit for today’s records: senior Petra Zublasing
, sophomores Taylor Ciotola
, Meelis Kiisk
, Thomas Kyanko
and Maren Prediger
, and freshman Garrett Spurgeon
After sitting out the smallbore relay in WVU’s win over Navy on Oct. 27, Zublasing returned to the range at full strength and swept the individual victories, shooting 599 (100-100-100-100-99-100) air rifle and 592 (200 prone, 198 standing, 194 kneeling) smallbore. Both scores were season bests, and the Appiano, Italy, native’s air rifle mark was one shot short of a perfect score. Additionally, Zublasing also shot school record prone and standing scores.
“Petra had a great match,” Hammond says. “She just flew back from Europe last night; we thought she would be jet lagged, but she stepped up to the challenge and had a great performance, especially in smallbore.”
Ciotola finished second in air rifle with a personal-best 595, while Prediger made her Mountaineer debut with a third place, 594 score.
“Taylor has really stepped it up this year,” explains Hammond. “We worked on that a lot last year, and he’s really gotten his consistency down this season. I think his mental game has really improved, and that’s starting to pay off with consistent, high scores. He continues to raise his bar each match.
“Today was a new experience for Maren, but she had a good performance in air rifle. Hopefully, she can take more steps in the future and continue to improve.”
Kiisk finished behind Prediger with a 588 score, while junior Daniel Sojka
shot 587 and finished fifth.
Abbey Stanec paced Ole Miss in air rifle with a score of 586.
Spurgeon continued his hot streak in smallbore, shooting 587 and finishing second overall. Freshman Patrick Sunderman
shot a career-best 584 and finished third, while Kiisk and Sojka shot matching 583s and finished in fourth.
Of note, junior Chance Cover
shot a personal-best 570 smallbore today.
The Rebels were paced in smallbore by Melissa Quartarone and Kim Coffey, as each shot 574.
Zublasing finished first overall with a career-best 1191 combined score. Ciotola finished second with a 1177, and Spurgeon placed third with a 1172.
With today’s win, WVU improves to 8-3 all-time against Ole Miss.
The Mountaineers continue their home stand against conference opponents with a shoulder-to-shoulder match with No. 13 NC State on Sunday. A link for live scores can be found HERE