No. 3 Rifle Returns to Range

By Sara Wells for
January 17, 2014 11:03 AM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va.  – The No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team hosts Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe, No. 16 NC State, on Sunday, Jan. 19, at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (6-0, 4-0 GARC) open their spring slate this weekend and look to push their home record to 5-0.
“I think the break benefited us,” says coach Jon Hammond. “We had a lot of momentum to keep going, but this let the team recharge its batteries. We got back into the range last week, and now we’re fresh.”
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon continues to be the most consistent smallbore shooter for the team, earning first place in his last four matches. Spurgeon tops the team with a 584 season average.
Junior Maren Prediger leads the Mountaineers in air rifle, averaging a score of 594.
“Some of the student-athletes got a lot of practice in December at the (USA Shooting Winter Air Gun) Championships,” says Hammond. “Many of them haven’t shot a match since November, though, so it will be a fine tuning week for some.”
In its last week of competition, WVU won at then-No. 13 Navy, 4678-4627. The Mountaineers outshot the Midshipmen in both guns, winning smallbore 2326-2295 and air rifle 2352-2332.
WVU averages a match total of 4676, while its opponents are averaging 4636 when shooting against the Mountaineers.
“It’s certainly nice to ease back into competition by shooting somewhere familiar,” Hammond says. “However, we need to keep up the hard work and motivation this week and not get too comfortable.”
In its last competition, NC State defeated Columbus State, 4612-4525, and fell to Murray State, 4632-4612, on Jan. 11 in Murray, Ky. The score was the Wolfpack’s second highest of 2013-2014.
“I think regardless of who the opponent is, we’re just going to focus on improving ourselves and our scores,” Hammond explains. “Every match is important because it’s another match for us to shoot our best and build on everything as we head toward the postseason.”
WVU holds a 14-0 all-time series record over NC State.
Of note, junior newcomer Ziva Dvorsak will join the Mountaineers in competition against the Wolfpack.
Sunday’s match is set to start at 8a.m. and will go into the afternoon. A link for live scores is available at

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