MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The No. 5-ranked West Virginia University rifle team won its third match and second Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) match of the 2013-14 season against No. 12 Army, today, with a 4695-4669 victory at the WVU Rifle Range in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Mountaineers (3-0, 2-0 GARC) won both guns, out-shooting the Black Knights (2-2, 1-2 GARC) 2358-2344 in air rifle, and 2337-2325 in smallbore.
The Mountaineers’ aggregate score, as well as air rifle and smallbore marks, were all season highs.
“I am pleased with today,” says coach Jon Hammond. “We had really good scores in smallbore and we were consistent. Nothing was spectacular, but everyone improved across the board. We were surprised to see how high the team score was.”
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
placed first in smallbore (586) and second in air rifle (590) for the second week in a row. His smallbore score and combined score of 1176 were season highs.
“It’s pleasing to see Garrett show some consistency,” says Hammond. “He’s definitely one of our strongest smallbore shooters. Each week he has improved, and it’s great to see him put in another strong performance today.”
Along with Spurgeon’s first place in smallbore, the Mountaineers also took third, fifth and sixth place in the discipline. Junior Meelis Kiisk
shot a 585 placing third, junior Thomas Kyanko
placed fifth (583) and sophomore Patrick Sunderman
placed sixth (583). All scores were season highs.
Junior Maren Prediger
won air rifle with a 596 score, just three points short of her season and career high.
Senior Daniel Sojka
placed third in air rifle with a 589 score, a season high and one point short of his career-best score. He added a smallbore score of 580, giving him a combined total of 1169, one point short of his career record.
“It was great to see Daniel put in a good performance after last week,” explains Hammond. “He was solid in both guns. He’s been working hard, and it’s really nice to see that he was so close to his highs in both.”
Army’s Joseph Todaro (585) and Michael Matthews (583) took second and fourth in smallbore, respectively. The Black Knights’ Olivia Nardone, Richard Calvin and Matthews also took fourth, fifth and sixth in air rifle, all with a 587 score.
Kyanko and senior Chance Cover
’s scores counted for the smallbore team. Cover placed 13th in the gun, shooting a 571 mark.
In air rifle, Prediger and junior Taylor Ciotola
’s scores counted toward the Mountaineer victory. Ciotola shot 586 in the gun, good enough for seventh.
Completing the Mountaineer scoring squad were Kiisk, Spurgeon and Sunderman’s showings in both guns.
Spurgeon shot a match-best 1176 combined score, improving his season high.
Mountaineer redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas
surpassed his career-high smallbore score (574) and scored a 584 in air rifle.
“The all around general improvement that we’ve had week to week is what I feel best about,” says Hammond. “We can shoot better scores in air rifle. There’s nothing specific. We just have to keep improving. We’re still young as a team. Getting more matches this semester will help.”
Today’s win improves WVU to 34-10 all-time against the Black Knights.
The Mountaineers will play host to their next GARC opponent, No. 13 Mississippi, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the WVU Rifle Range.