WVU Rifle Downs N.C. State Again

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    The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team earned its second straight win of the weekend with a 4710-4666 victory over No. 7 NC State on Sunday at the WVU Rifle Range.

    The Mountaineers (6-0, 5-0 GARC) earned their fifth Great America Conference (GARC) win with strong performances in both guns, defeating the Wolfpack (3-3, 1-3 GARC) 2334-2304 in smallbore and 2376-2362 in air rifle.

    “I think the team worked hard today,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “Everyone was very professional, and they each dealt well with any difficulties they faced. We expected a few challenges shooting back-to-back matches, but they all had good parts to their match and worked really hard. It’s a never-ending process, and we’ll never be perfect, but we have a lot to take away from this weekend.

    “David had a strong smallbore performance, and Sarah had another really strong day. It was a really good weekend for her, and it was good to see her starting to understand herself and perform well.”

    For the second time in as many days, a pair of Mountaineers finished first in the individual competitions.

    Junior David Koenders won the smallbore title for the first time this season, shooting 588 (197 kneeling, 200 prone, 191 standing). Included in his performance was a matching school-record 200 prone mark.

    Additionally, sophomore Verena Zaisberger shot a season high to win air rifle, finishing first with a 597 (98-99-100-100-100-100) total, two shots shy of a personal best.

    Senior Milica Babic and junior Sarah Osborn shot 586s and tied for third. In the tie, Babic shot 200 prone to match the program record with Koenders, while Osborn topped her season-high mark of 585 shot yesterday against No. 5 Akron.

    Sophomore Jared Eddy shot 585 for the second time this season, matching his career-high smallbore score last shot at Nebraska on Oct. 12. Eddy finished fifth and was followed by freshman Malori Brown, who shot 583 and placed sixth.

    Freshman Akihito Shimizu shot 582, while Zaisberger shot 578 for a season high. Junior Noah Barker, freshman Calista Smoyer and senior Morgan Phillips added marks of 575, 574 and 573, respectively.

    In air rifle, Osborn and Shimizu shot 595s and tied for second behind Zaisberger. Shimizu fired 595 for the third time this season, matching his career-high score last shot at Ole Miss on Nov. 2.

    Babic tied for fourth place with a 593, while Brown shot a career-high 592 to finish sixth.

    Eddy shot 591 and tied for seventh, and Koenders rounded out the top 10 with a 589.


    Smoyer, Phillips and Barker added marks of 587, 586 and 585, respectively.

    Five Mountaineers counted toward the team totals: Koenders, Osborn, Phillips, Shimizu and Zaisberger.

    NC State was paced by Emily Fisher, as she posted an aggregate score of 1175. Fisher finished second in smallbore (587), while Makenzie Sheffield placed fifth in air rifle (593).

    With the win, WVU improves to 21-0 all-time against NCSU.

    Looking ahead, WVU closes its fall slate in Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday, Nov. 23, with a match against Navy at 8 a.m. ET.

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