No. 5 Rifle Set for Nebraska

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 11, 2013 02:01 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 5-ranked West Virginia University rifle team opens its Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) season at No. 9 Nebraska on Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Nebraska Rifle Range, in Lincoln, Neb.

Sunday’s match is the season-opener for the Huskers and the first road competition of the year for the Mountaineers (1-0). WVU is 8-3 all-time against NU.

“Ultimately, this weekend is just another match, but we will definitely look to improve on our performance from the first match,” says Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “That’s what we’re focused on – improving every time we compete. The team goal is to make strides forward and to have an improved performance every match.

“This weekend will be a good test for shooting on the road. While this is our first GARC match of the year, we’re just looking for another chance to get more experience under our belt.”

In their most recent shoulder-to-shoulder meeting, the Mountaineers defeated Nebraska, 4689-4661, at the WVU Rifle Range on Jan. 19, 2013. WVU earned a 2324-2309 smallbore victory and a 2365-2352 air rifle win.

The Mountaineers enter GARC competition as the four-time reigning conference champions. WVU became the first team to win four straight GARC titles with its 4705 two-day total at last year’s championship. The Mountaineers shot winning 2335 smallbore and 2370 air rifle scores. WVU owns a conference-best seven GARC titles.

WVU opened its 2013-14 season with a 4657-4648 win over then-No. 10 Ohio State on Oct. 5 at the WVU Rifle Range. The Mountaineers tallied a 2356-2343 win in air rifle but dropped a 2305-2301 decision in smallbore.

Junior Maren Prediger won air rifle with a career-best 599 score. The Petersaurach, Germany, native was one shot short of the NCAA and WVU record. Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon paced the Mountaineers and tied for second with a 581 score.

NU returns seven shooters from a 2012-13 Husker team that finished 24-5 and earned a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships.