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No. 3 WVU Picks Up Second Top-10 Victory Over No. 8 Murray State

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 3, 2021)  The No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team picked up its second top-10 victory of the weekend after defeating No. 8 Murray State, 4725-4674, on Sunday afternoon in Murray, Kentucky

WVU (2-0, 1-0 GARC) swept MSU in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2351-2318, and air rifle, 2374-2356.

“Today was definitely a tougher match for us, a new range for most of them and there was some fatigue,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “I’m proud of them for fighting throughout the match and staying as focused as they could. Our energy levels were not as good, and that probably showed in air rifle.

“Overall, it was another really solid team performance, and we finished a good weekend. There’s still plenty to improve, but this is a good foundation to start the season, and it will be nice to have our full team for next weekend.”

West Virginia began the day in smallbore and placed seven shooters within the top 10, including senior Verena Zaisberger who led the Mountaineers with a match-high 592 (197 kneeling, 200 prone, 196 standing) in the relay. Of note, Zaisberger’s 592 in smallbore also was a career best.

Fellow senior Jared placed third in smallbore with a score of 588 (195 kneeling, 200 prone, 193 standing), while juniors Akihito Shimizu (586) and Malori Brown (585) followed closely behind in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Junior Calista Smoyer and sophomores Tal Engler and Becca Lamb rounded out WVU’s top-10 placements in the smallbore relay. Engler placed sixth with a score of 584 (195 kneeling, 198 prone, 191 standing), while Smoyer also shot a 584 (192 kneeling, 197 prone, 195 standing) to finish seventh. Lamb shot a 579 (195 kneeling, 199 prone, 185 standing), which was good for ninth place.

Sophomore Matt Sanchez placed 11th in smallbore with a score of 576 (191 kneeling, 195 prone, 190 standing).

In air rifle, WVU placed seven shooters inside the top 10, including Engler, who took the top spot in the match with a 597 (100-99-100-100-99-99). Shimizu (99-100-99-98-100-98) and Smoyer (98-99-100-99-99-99) each shot 594 to place third and fourth, respectively, in the event.

Sanchez tallied an air rifle score of 590 (100-99-94-98-100-99) to place sixth, while Zaisberger, Eddy and Lamb all shot a 589 to place seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively.

Brown rounded out the relay with a score of 588 (98-96-99-97-99-99) to place 11th.

Next up, West Virginia returns to Morgantown, on Sunday, Oct. 10, to square off against No. 7 Memphis at the Bill McKenzie Mobile Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building. Sunday’s match against the Tigers is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET.

Of note, former Mountaineer great and two-time, individual NCAA champion Morgan Phillips returns to Morgantown to lead Memphis as the interim head coach on Sunday.

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