No. 1 Rifle Welcomes Two Foes

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • November 01, 2013 10:28 AM
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Garrett Spurgeon
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team closes out its fall home schedule with two matches at the WVU Rifle Range this weekend.
The Mountaineers (3-0, 2-0 GARC) welcome Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe Mississippi on Saturday, Nov. 2, and Akron the following day. Both matches will begin at 8 a.m., with the last relay concluding later in the afternoon.
This weekend’s matches are WVU’s final home competitions of the fall season. The Mountaineers are 2-0 at the WVU Rifle Range this year, most recently shooting a season-high score in their 4695-4669 win over then-No. 12 Army on Oct. 26.
WVU owns an 8-3 series advantage over the No. 12-ranked Rebels (1-3, 1-2 GARC) and an 11-0 advantage over the No. 16 Zips (1-1).
“There’s a lot we want to accomplish this weekend,” says Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “We have two opportunities to get more match experience and to try and have a good performance. We’re a work in progress, so we don’t have any specific goals we’re looking to accomplish, but as a whole we view this weekend as a chance to measure where we are as we continue to progress through the season.”
WVU shot season highs in both disciplines last weekend, defeating the Black Knights in air rifle (2358-2344) and smallbore (2325-2315). The smallbore victory was the squad’s first of the season.
“The team is finding its groove right now,” Hammond explains. “Last week was a case of everyone improving their scores by a small amount, which makes a big difference in the team totals. We’re improving week to week, and we want to continue to improve each match.”
Junior Maren Prediger has started the year strong in air rifle and leads the Mountaineers with a 593.0 season average. The Petersaurach, Germany, native finished first last week with a 596 mark.
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon has been the most consistent Mountaineer in both guns through three weeks, owning a team-best 584 smallbore average and a 589 air rifle average, the team’s second-best mark. The Canton, Mo., native finished first in smallbore (586) and second in air rifle (590) last week
The Rebels shot a season-high 4621 in a loss at Kentucky (4688) on Oct. 20. Ole Miss shot a season-best 2336 air rifle and tallied 2285 in smallbore.
Most recently, the Zips defeated Nevada, 4584-4579, in Reno, Nev., on Oct. 19. Akron will play host to the University of Sciences (Pa.) on Saturday before traveling to Morgantown.