WVU Rifle Schedule Unveiled

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    West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons announced the 2019-20 rifle schedule on Friday.

    The nation-best 19-time NCAA Champion Mountaineers, the reigning national runners-up, will face four of their seven opponents from the 2019 NCAA National Championships, including a match at home against TCU, the 2019 National Champion.

    In addition to the WVU-TCU match, the Mountaineers will shoot against Akron, NC State, Army West Point and Kentucky at home. All home matches will be held at the WVU Rifle Range or at the Bill McKenzie Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building or the WVU Coliseum. All home matches are set to begin at 10 a.m.

    “We are excited to have some really tough matches at home,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “Our first home match is against TCU, and they are the defending National Champions. It’s an exciting one to start the season with. On the opposite end, we wrap the season up with Kentucky, which is often our biggest competition in the conference.

    “There are some really challenging one’s at home, but it’s always nice to have some good trips in there, too. It’s a tough schedule, but we want to compete against the best teams in the country. We want to push ourselves and challenge ourselves. We know from the last two seasons that TCU and Kentucky have been our toughest competitors. They are the last two National Champions, and it’ll be great to showcase them here and show off our facilities.”

    The Mountaineers open the season and the defense of their six straight Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) crowns at Nebraska on Oct. 12.

    WVU then opens its home season against TCU on Oct. 26.

    West Virginia will shoot a pair of league matches on the road, squaring off against Ole Miss on Nov. 2, in Oxford, Mississippi, and Memphis on Nov. 3, in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Following a week off from competition, the Mountaineers will welcome Akron to Morgantown on Nov. 16, followed by NC State on Nov. 17.

    WVU then concludes the fall portion of its schedule in Annapolis, Maryland, against Navy, on Nov. 23.

    West Virginia will open its spring slate in Tokyo, Japan, as the Mountaineers shoot against the All-Japan University Team on Jan. 12.

    “We built a relationship with the Japanese team,” Hammond said. “They came here to do a camp a few years ago, and we have continued that relationship ever since. We are very excited to go over there and have a little bit of a training camp, but also shoot and compete against their all-university team.”

    The Mountaineers return on Jan. 26 for a home match against GARC foe Army West Point before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for a match at Ohio State on Feb. 1.

    West Virginia closes its regular season at home vs. 2019 NCAA Qualifier Kentucky on Feb. 15.

    WVU will play host to an NCAA Qualifying Match on Feb. 22, before returning to Memphis, Tennessee, for the GARC Championships on Feb. 28-29. The Mountaineers have claimed 10 straight GARC Championship titles and 14 overall.

    “GARC’s is going to be a new venue, and we are looking forward to Memphis hosting the conference championship for the first time,” Hammond said. “Obviously, we are familiar to going down there as conference opponents, but I believe they are going to set up their range in a basketball arena or practice facility, so that’ll have a new look to it. I know they are excited to host, and they will put on a great tournament.”

    The Mountaineers look to reclaim the NCAA Championship and earn their sixth title in eight seasons at the 2020 NCAA National Championships, March 13-14, in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Seven student-athletes return for the Mountaineers this season, including two national champions in seniors Morgan Phillips, a two-time NCAA smallbore champion, and Milica Babic, the 2017 NCAA air rifle champion. The Mountaineers concluded the 2018-19 season at 13-0, their fifth undefeated season in six years.


    It would be cool to actually watch one of their competitions.

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