The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team shot a team aggregate 4691 at an NCAA Qualifying match today at Murray State, in Murray, Ky.
The Mountaineers (10-0, 7-0 GARC) didn’t shoot against a specific opponent, however, their team aggregate score factors into their final NCAA Championships qualification average. The eight-team slate for the NCAA Rifle Championships will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m., at NCAA.com
“We were all satisfied today,” coach Jon Hammond says. “It wasn’t our best score, but we fought through it. Everyone worked really hard, and sometimes you have to do that. Everyone was able to overcome their struggles, and it was a great team effort.”
This is the second time the Mountaineers have shot at the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range at Murray State, and they have the opportunity to do so for a third time at the NCAA Championships, on March 14-15.
In the smallbore discipline, the Mountaineers shot a team score of 2325. Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
paced the Mountaineers for the eighth time this season with 586, one shot short of his season high.
The remaining counters for smallbore are junors. Thomas Kyanko
shot 581 in the gun, while classmate Meelis Kiisk
shot 580. Maren Prediger
scored a 578 mark, one short of the Petersaurach, Germany, native’s career high. Ziva Dvorsak
shot 577 to complete the smallbore counting squad.
WVU shot 2366 in air rifle. Prediger paced the Mountaineers, shooting 595. Dvorsak followed with 594, and Spurgeon scored a 590 mark in the gun. Kiisk and Kyanko shot 587 and 585, respectively. The five shooters made up the Mountaineer counting squad.
Sunderman shot a 588 air rifle score for the second match in a row, and Lucas followed with a 586 mark.
“Shooting is one of those sports where it rarely ever comes easy,” Hammond explains. “Usually you can’t just sail through the day with no problems. Everyone was challenged, but they learned to dig in and fight well. We will learn from this and have some light practices where we work on staying focused before GARCs next weekend.”
The Mountaineers are back in action next week, as they compete at the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, March 1-2, in Oxford, Miss. WVU is the four-time defending GARC Championships champion, and recently claimed the regular-season GARC title, the team’s seventh and first since 2010.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVURifle on Twitter.