Led by a program-record 2364 in smallbore, the No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team defeated No. 10 Navy, 4739-4712, on Saturday afternoon, at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range in Annapolis, Maryland.
WVU’s 2364 in smallbore captured the school record in the relay, which was previously set with a score of 2356 on Nov. 12, 2017, vs. Murray State, was complied with scores from sophomore Tal Engler (590), sophomore Molly McGhin (589), freshman Natalie Perrin (589), junior Akihito Shimizu (592) and senior Verena Zaisberger (593).
After its program record in the first relay, the Midshipmen took the air rifle match by a score of 2382-2375.
“I’m definitely pleased with the overall performance today and for the first match after break,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “Our smallbore was really good, seven scores over 588 shows the depth we have on the team and shooting a school-record 2364 will hopefully give us some good confidence of what we are capable off.
“Air rifle wasn’t as strong in our team score, but again, we had really good depth across the full team and the margins are so small to pick up those extra points,” Hammond added. “I think we learned a lot of good things from this weekend, and it’s a good first step for this semester.”
Zaisberger led all Mountaineer shooters with an aggregate score of 1186, which placed her No. 2 on the overall match leaderboard. The senior shot a 593 in both relays to lead West Virginia.
Shimizu placed fourth in the overall standings and compiled a 592 in smallbore and a 593 in air rifle for an 1185 aggregate score.
He was followed by senior Jared Eddy and Perrin who each shot an 1184. Eddy took fifth while Perrin placed sixth. Behind Perrin, Engler (590 smallbore, 593 air rifle) and McGhin (589 smallbore, 594 air rifle) placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
Sophomore Matt Sanchez shot an 1183 (586 smallbore, 597 air rifle) to finish ninth, while junior Malori Brown rounded out the top 10 after shooting an 1179 (591 smallbore, 588 air rifle).
Additionally, sophomore Becca Lamb (580 smallbore, 592 air rifle) and junior Calista Smoyer (579 smallbore, 596 air rifle) showed combined scores of 1172 and 1175, respectively.
Next up, the No. 3-ranked Mountaineers return to Morgantown on Saturday, Jan. 29, for a tri-match against Morehead State and Akron. Saturday’s contest begins at 8 a.m. ET, from the Bill McKenzie Mobile Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building.