MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 31, 2021) – The West Virginia University rifle team defeated Ole Miss in their last home match of the season, by a score of 4737-4713 on Sunday, at the Bill McKenzie Rifle Range in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers (7-0, 5-0 GARC) swept the Rebels (7-5, 4-4 GARC) in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2351-2346 and air rifle, 2386-2367.
Junior Jared Eddy matched the WVU school record in smallbore after he shot a 595. He also tied the smallbore standing record with a 199. The smallbore record was previously set by Petra Zublasing (595) on Feb. 23, 2013, in Oxford, Mississippi, at the GARC Championships. The smallbore standing record was previously set by Ginny Thrasher (199) on Nov. 4, 2017, vs. TCU.
“Obviously, the day is highlighted by Jared’s performance in smallbore, tying a school record from 2013, and finishing with that standing was impressive to watch,” Coach Jon Hammond said. “We haven’t had an 1190 combine score in a while. So that is great to see. There were lots of other great performances today. Akihito leading the way in air rifle, but there was a great team effort across the board.”
Eddy placed first overall, earning a personal-best aggregate score of 1190. He was followed by sophomore Akihito Shimizu who posted a career-high aggregate score of 1186.
Seven Mountaineers finished inside the top 10 in both the smallbore and air rifle standings.
“I am really pleased with the team’s performance today,” Hammond said. “We have had a lot of matches in the last two weeks (four in the last nine days). After that, the team still had the patience and discipline to shoot well. It was fun to watch. I think there was a lot of resiliency today and I’m proud of the team for that.”
Eddy claimed a first place smallbore title with a career-high 595 mark (197 kneeling, 199 prone, 199 standing), while Shimizu finished first in air rifle with a personal best 599 (100-100-99-100-100-100).
Shimizu (198 kneeling, 195 prone, 194 standing) and freshman Becca Lamb, shooting her personal best, (195 kneeling, 197 prone, 195 standing) finished fourth with matching 587s.
Freshman Matt Sanchez (194 kneeling, 197 prone, 193 standing) placed seventh with a 584 mark, while freshman Molly McGhin (192 kneeling, 197 prone, 194 standing) and sophomore Malori Brown (193 kneeling, 199 prone, 191 standing ) took eighth with matching 583s to round out the Mountaineers in the top 10.
Duo, sophomore Calista Smoyer, and junior Verena Zaisberger finished in 11th after a 582 mark. They were followed by senior Sarah Osborn in 13th place with a 580 mark and freshman Tal Engler shooting a 576, good for 16th place.
In air rifle, Smoyer (98-100-100-99-100-100) took third place with a personal-best 597. Molly McGhin (100-99-100-99-99-99) followed close behind shooting a personal best 596 and placing fourth.
With a 595-mark, Eddy (99-100-100-97-99-100), Lamb (100-98-98-100-99-100), Zaisberger (98-100-99-99-100-99) and Osborn (100-97-99-100-99-100) all tied for fifth to round out the Mountaineers in the top five.
Engler (99-99-99-100-99-98) shot 594, good for ninth, while Sanchez (98-100-98-99-98-98) and Brown (97-99-98-98-100-99) tied for 12th, with a 591 score.
With the win, WVU improves to 18-3 all-time against the Rebels.
“It’s one of our highest team scores and best weekend on the Bill Mackenzie range,” Hammond said. “ However, at the same time, there’s something everyone can improve. We’ll keep working hard but take a lot of confidence from this weekend.”
West Virginia honored senior Osborn during Sunday’s action, recognizing the hard work and dedication she has put into the WVU rifle program.
“Senior day is always a special day,” Hammond said. “It was nice to see Sarah have a really solid air rifle match. She had to deal with some emotions, but she did a great job working through that. It’s been a challenging year for everyone. It is not what every senior would want, but she’s been working hard. I’m sure will give everything for the final stretch of the season, work and dedication to the WVU rifle program.”
Looking ahead, West Virginia will have a week off before closing its regular season in Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 13 at the UK Rifle Range.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications