MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 5-ranked West Virginia University rifle team returns to the WVU Rifle Range and welcomes Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe Army Saturday, Oct. 26, for a shoulder-to-shoulder match. Competition will begin at 8 a.m., with the final relay slated to begin late afternoon.
Tomorrow’s match is the first for the Mountaineers (2-0, 1-0 GARC) in Morgantown since opening their 2013-14 season with a 4657-4648 win over Ohio State on Oct. 5. WVU followed that with a 4656-4650 win at Nebraska on Oct. 13, its first GARC victory of the season. The squad was inactive last week.
WVU and Army (2-1, 1-1 GARC) met in West Point, N.Y., last year, with the Mountaineers earning a 4709-4631 season-opening victory. The Mountaineers own a 33-10 series advantage over the Black Knights.
“We’re not really focused on who the opponent is this weekend,” says Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “This is a conference match, which is great, and Army has always been a strong team. We’ll just continue to focus on our own team and work to improve.
“Each student-athlete is working on slightly different things at this point in the season, and as a team, we’re trying to instill a focus on yourself – control your emotions and focus on the match. We’re very much looking forward to getting another match in after a week off.”
The Mountaineers have relied on their air rifle scores early in the season, as the discipline total has compensated for smallbore defeats to the Buckeyes (2305-2301) and the Huskers (2315-2307). WVU shows an average air rifle score of 2352.5.
Junior Maren Prediger
leads WVU with a 591.5 air rifle season average. The Petersaurach, Germany, native opened her second season as a Mountaineer with a career-best 599 showing in the OSU win.
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
has shot consistently strong in both guns through two matches, owning a team-best 582.5 smallbore average and a 588.5 air rifle average.
The Black Knights are coming off a 4624-4367 win over Coast Guard on Oct. 19. Army opened the season shooting a season-high 4640 in a win at Ole Miss (4597) on Oct. 5.