No. 1 Rifle Earns Third GARC Win

  • By Sara Wells
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  • November 02, 2013 06:26 PM
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Maren Prediger
Morgantown, W. Va.  – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team won its fourth match and third Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) match of the 2013-14 season against No. 12 Mississippi, today, with a 4681-4614 victory at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (4-0, 3-0 GARC) won both guns, outshooting the Rebels (1-4, 1-3 GARC) 2315-2273 in smallbore, and 2366-2341 in air rifle.
The air rifle score was a season high for the Mountaineers.
“There were good individual overall improvements, and we were really consistent,” says coach Jon Hammond. “It was a great match. We had a slow start to the season, and now we are showing other teams who are scoring well what we can do.”
For the third match in a row, sophomore Garrett Spurgeon place first in smallbore (581) and second in air rifle (593). His air rifle score was a season and career high, one shot better than his previous record of 592.
Along with Spurgeon’s showing in the gun, the Mountaineers also took second, third, fifth and sixth place. Senior Daniel Sojka took second (580), matching his season high. Junior Meelis Kiisk took third (579), while sophomore Patrick Sunderman took fifth (575) and junior Thomas Kyanko took sixth (575).
These five shooters counted for the team’s smallbore score.
Mississippi’s Melissa Quartarone placed fourth in smallbore (577), and Abbey Stanec placed eighth (571).
Junior Maren Prediger won air rifle with a 599 (100-99-100-100-100-100) score, matching her career-best showing. Today is the second time this season she has notched the score.
“It was a great performance from her,” explains Hammond. “Fifty-five out of 60 of her shots were center shots. It was one of the best air rifle matches I’ve ever seen. Overall, our air rifle performance was really good.”
Sojka placed third in the gun, shooting a 589, a season high and one shot short of his career best.
Kyanko and Kiisk took fourth and fifth in air rifle, both shooting 589, a season high for Kyanko.
Prediger, Spurgeon and Kiisk counted toward the Mountaineer air rifle victory, along with junior Taylor Ciotola (581) and Sunderman (585).
Rounding out the air rifle scores for the Rebels were Goodwin Rena placing sixth (587) and Stanec placing seventh (586).
Spurgeon shot a match-best score of 1174.
Of note, Ciotola shot a season-high 575 smallbore, good enough for seventh place.
Additionally, redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas shot 585 air rifle, matching his career high, and freshman Sydney Smith earned a career-high 576 air rifle.
Today’s win improves WVU to a 9-3 all time against the Rebels.
“It’s always a challenge with two matches back to back,” explains Hammond. “We have to prepare for tough matches and stress that we’re going to have to work very hard. We will put 100 percent into each and every shot tomorrow. Our score tomorrow will definitely be based on how much they dig in and put in to every single shot. Whether we are No. 1, 5 or 10, we just have to focus on ourselves.”
The Mountaineers play host to No. 16-ranked Akron, tomorrow, at the WVU Rifle Range.