MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team shot a 4715 on its second day in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to defeat No. 2 Air Force (4690) and No. 19 UTEP (4568) on Sunday afternoon, at the United States Air Force Academy.
The Mountaineers (6-0, 2-0 GARC) once again claimed both disciplines in the match, with a 2333 in smallbore and a 2382 in air rifle. Of note, WVU shot a 2333 in smallbore for the second day in a row, and its team air rifle score of 2382 was one point shy of its season high.
Air Force shot a 2331 in smallbore and a 2359 in air rifle to place second. UTEP came in third place, with a 2266 in smallbore and a 2302 in air rifle.
Each Mountaineer shooter placed inside the top 10 on the match leaderboard for the second straight day, including juniors Becca Lamb and Molly McGhin, who claimed the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively.
“This match was very similar to yesterday,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “Air rifle was definitely our stronger event with a number of good performances, many of them with two good days in air, especially (junior) Matt (Sanchez).
“Becca and Molly led the way overall today, and for them and others, I hope this gives them some extra confidence moving forward that they are going in the right direction. It’s never easy missing some strong team members, but the group this weekend worked hard and hopefully learned some good things for the future.”
Lamb shot a team-high 585 in smallbore to lead the team and place third in the discipline. Along with her 594 in air rifle, the Centreville, Virginia, posted an aggregate score of 1179.
McGhin also tallied a combined score of 1179, including a team-best 596 in air rifle. The Griffin, Georgia, native capped her match with a 583 in smallbore.
Tying for the team-best scores in each match discipline was junior Malori Brown and Sanchez.
Brown tied with Lamb and shot a 585 in smallbore. Combined with her 589 in air rifle, the China Spring, Texas, native showed an 1174 overall to place sixth.
Sanchez tied with McGhin, shooting a 596 in air rifle. The Tampa, Florida, native shot a 573 in smallbore to net an aggregate total of 1169 and finished eighth.
Placing fifth on the match leaderboard was senior Akihito Shimizu with an aggregate score of 1175. The Tokushima, Japan, native shot a 580 in smallbore and a 595 in air rifle.
Rounding out West Virginia’s day and finishing in seventh place was fifth-year senior Verena Zaisberger. The Hohenems, Austria, native posted a combined score of 1174, including a 579 in smallbore and a 595 in air rifle.
“We still have lots of work and improvements to make, but we’re going in the right direction,” Hammond concluded. “We’ll have a few weeks off before our Fall Classic and some strong competition in Morgantown.”
Next up, the Mountaineers will have two weeks off before hosting their first WVU Fall Classic in Morgantown, from Nov. 5-6. The two-day competition will see West Virginia compete against Alaska-Fairbanks, Kentucky and TCU at the Bill McKenzie Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building.
More information on the WVU Fall Classic will be announced in the coming weeks.