School Record Earns WVU Rifle Weekly Honors; Varsity Sports Update

Molly McGhin (WVU photo)

After shooting a program-record 2364 in smallbore at No. 10 Navy on Jan. 22, the West Virginia University rifle team has been named the WVU Student-Athletes of the Week, presented by University Apartments.

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).

“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,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said.

The Mountaineers took the top-six spots for the match’s smallbore standings, and all 10 WVU shooters placed inside the top 15 for the discipline.

Zaisberger’s 593 led the way for West Virginia, and she was followed by Shimizu (592), junior Malori Brown (591), Engler (590), Perrin (589) and McGhin (589).

Outside of the top six in smallbore, senior Jared Eddy shot a 588 to place eighth and sophomore Matt Sanchez tallied a 586 to check in at No. 10. Additionally, sophomore Becca Lamb (588) and junior Calista Smoyer (579) finished 12th and 14th, respectively, in the relay.

This Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia returns to Morgantown to continue its 2021-22 Big 12 Conference home slate … WVU opens the week against TCU on Tuesday, Jan. 25, before welcoming No. 15 Baylor to the WVU Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 29 … tip-off times are set for 7 p.m. ET, and 2 p.m., respectively … Saturday’s contest against the Lady Bears is West Virginia’s annual “I Belong” event, which celebrates diversity and inclusion in the Morgantown community … both contests will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Last Week in Women’s Basketball: West Virginia (9-7, 2-4 Big 12) split a pair of conference contests last week … the Mountaineers began the week with an 88-76 loss to No. 14/19 Oklahoma on Jan. 19 … WVU was led in scoring and rebounding by junior forward Esmery Martinez, who tallied a career-high 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds, good for the 20th double-double of her career … Martinez was joined in double figures by junior guard KK Deans (14), senior forward Kari Niblack (13) and senior guard Madisen Smith (10) … West Virginia bounced back from Wednesday’s loss on Jan. 22, when the Mountaineers defeated Oklahoma State, 61-57, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma … Deans led the Mountaineers’ scoring attack with a team-high 20 points for her third 20-point performance of the season … Martinez notched her second consecutive double-double and led WVU in rebounding, tallying 13 points and 18 rebounds

Notes: With 21 double-doubles in her Mountaineer career, Martinez now ranks No. 8 in all-time program history in the category, passing Lanay Montgomery (20, 2013-17) … with 20 points at Oklahoma State, Deans has now scored in double figures in 15 of WVU’s 16 games this season … Deans now has eight games of 20 or more points in her career … with four points at OSU, Niblack now has 983 points in her Mountaineer career and needs 17 to reach 1,000 … the Leesburg, Florida, native is seeking to become the 38th 1,000-point scorer in program history … West Virginia is a combined 18-25 all-time against TCU and Baylor … WVU is 16-5 against the Horned Frogs and is looking for its fourth win over the Lady Bears … the Mountaineers are 7-2 against TCU in Morgantown … West Virginia swept the season series against TCU a year ago and has won three of the last five meetings against the Horned Frogs … WVU’s last victory against Baylor came on March 6, 2017, in the Big 12 Championship title game, 77-66.

This Week in Wrestling: The Mountaineers hit the road for a pair of Big 12 duals this week … on Friday, Jan. 28, WVU travels to Brookings, South Dakota, to take on South Dakota State at 8 p.m. ET, inside Frost Arena … the squad then travels to Fargo, North Dakota, on Saturday, Jan. 29, to battle North Dakota State … action inside the Scheels Center is set for 2 p.m.

Last Week in Wrestling: WVU was off last week.

Notes: West Virginia stands at 5-3 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12 … redshirt senior Killian Cardinale (125), sophomore Peyton Hall (165) and redshirt sophomore Michael Wolfgram (285) all appeared in the top 33 of their respective weight classes in the first NCAA coaches’ rankings … Cardinale (6) and Hall (9) ranked in the top 10, while Wolfgram rounded out the trio at No. 21 at heavyweight … it’s the first time that WVU had two members of the squad in the top 10 of the NCAA coaches’ ranking since the 2016-17 season … redshirt junior Jacob Smith (6) at 197 pounds and senior Dylan Cottrell (9) at 165 pounds represented the Mountaineers in the first panel rankings toward the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis … Cardinale (6-0) Hall (17-1) and Wolfgram (14-5) are all undefeated in dual competition this season … WVU ranks No. 25 in both WIN Magazine’s Tournament Power Index and InterMat’s tournament rankings … West Virginia placed seventh in its third appearance at the Southern Scuffle (Jan. 1-2), where Cardinale and Hall reached the finals … it was the first time in program history that more than one Mountaineer registered an appearance in the finals of the in-season tournament … WVU placed second at the Clarion Open on Sunday, Nov. 7 … the 2022 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are currently scheduled for March 17-19, in Detroit, Michigan for the first time in NCAA history … it’s also the fourth time that the Championships will be held in the state of Michigan, with the last time being in 2007 (Auburn Hills) … additionally, the Big 12 Championship will return to the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the sixth consecutive year on March 5-6.

This Week in Gymnastics: The Mountaineers return to the road to take on Big 12 Conference foe Iowa State on Friday, Jan. 28, in Ames, Iowa … the meet is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, inside Hilton Coliseum in Ames, and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Last Week in Gymnastics: West Virginia opened up its home and conference slates with a 197.600-195.725 loss to No. 6 Denver on Feb. 21, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown … WVU’s score of 195.725 topped its score from last week’s season opener by 1.725 points, while the Mountaineers (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) also bested their totals on uneven bars and floor exercise from last week … despite finishing second to Denver (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) on all four events, the Pioneers narrowly outscored WVU on floor, 49.4-49.35, as West Virginia tallied five scores of 9.85 or better … three different Mountaineers earned four podium appearances against UD, including three on floor and one on the all-around … senior Kendra Combs led the way in second place on floor with a 9.9 total and third place on the all-around with a 39.150 … junior Abbie Pierson and sophomore Kiana Lewis tied for third place on floor with a pair of 9.875 scores … junior Kianna Yancey made her season debut on the all-around, while Combs and classmate Rachel Hornung also appeared in all four events … Combs notched a total score of 39.150, taking third place … Hornung followed with a 38.950, and Yancey tallied a 38.425.

Notes: Combs’ score of 39.150 on the all-around against Denver marked her first career all-around score of 39.0 or higher, as well as her first career podium finish on the event … the Windsor, Connecticut, native also matched her career high of 9.9 on floor exercise against the Pioneers … sophomore Agatha Handono notched a new career-high of 9.725 on balance beam … a pair of freshmen also earned new career bests on Friday, as Brooke Alban scored a 9.725 on vault and Anna Leigh improved her previous uneven bars score with a 9.7 … Alban also made her career debut on bars (9.7) … in this week’s Road to Nationals rankings, WVU came in at No. 7 on floor and No. 24 on beam in the national standings, while the Mountaineers are No. 2 on floor and No. 3 on beam in the Big 12 … individually, Pierson and Lewis are tied for No. 4 in the league with a matching 9.887 average on floor exercise.

This Week in Swimming & Diving: WVU travels to South Bend, Indiana, from Jan. 28-29, to face Notre Dame … the dual meet is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET, on Friday and competition will resume on Saturday at 11 a.m. … this is the Mountaineers’ last dual meet of the 2021-22 season.

Last Week in Swimming & Diving: West Virginia played host to Iowa State (women) and Villanova on Saturday, Jan. 22 … the men’s squad topped the Wildcats, 198-92, while the women fell to both ISU, 198-101, and VU, 177-120 … fifth-year senior David Dixon led WVU and collected four victories, including three solo wins, during the contest … seven Mountaineers tallied multiple victories and 12 different Mountaineers earned victories over the Wildcats and Cyclones … West Virginia had four sweeps on Saturday, including the men’s 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle and on 1-meter springboard … senior diver PJ Lenz earned a season high on 3-meter, with a 318.70 score.

Notes: WVU wrapped up the fall campaign with the WVU Invitational on November 18-20 … fifth-year senior Ana Zortea broke the program record in the woman’s 100-yard backstroke at the invite, touching the wall in 53.41 … the Mountaineers also had seven divers earn an NCAA Zones-qualifying score during the winter invite … freshman Sarah Krusinski (281.95), junior Marian Tiemeier (271.00) and senior Camille Burt (269.45) swept the women’s 1-meter and earned their Zones-qualifying scores … Krusinski’s recorded a 269.85 on 1-meter … senior Nick Cover notched a 349.90, just shy of a personal best to qualify for Zones … on men’s platform, senior PJ Lenz (332.95), Cover (306.75) and freshman Glenn Eloriaga (305.40) all recorded Zones-qualifying scores at the mid-season meet … following competition in South Bend, the Mountaineers will host the 2022 Big 12 Championship from Feb. 23-26, at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown.

This Week in Track and Field: West Virginia travels to the PSU Sykes and Sabock Challenge in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, Jan. 29 … events will take place at the Multi-Sport Facility & Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track … the meet is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.

Last Week in Track and Field: The Mountaineers traveled to the Youngstown Invitational in Youngstown, Ohio, on Friday, Jan. 21, at Watson and Tressel Training Site … redshirt senior Hayley Jackson earned the Mountaineers a first-place finish in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:13.56 … she was followed by senior Sada Wright who placed third in the weight throw competition with a distance of 16.74 meters.

Ceili McCabe (WVU photo)

Notes: WVU opened the 2021-22 indoor season on Dec. 3, with the annual WVU Open at the WVU Shell Building … additionally, redshirt sophomore Ceili McCabe was the lone Mountaineer who participated in the Sharon Colyera-Danville Season Opener, in Boston, Massachusetts, on Dec. 4 … McCabe broke another program record in the women’s 3,000-meter run, completing the race in a program-record time of 8:52.52 to finish in first place … Megan Metcalfe previously set the 3,000-meter program record in 2005 with an 8:58.17 time … the Mountaineers last hosted an indoor home track meet in 2019 with the WVU Open.

This Week in Rifle: West Virginia returns to Morgantown on Saturday, Jan. 29, for a tri-meet against Akron and Morehead State … Saturday’s match is set for 8 a.m. ET, and will be held at the Bill McKenzie Mobile Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building … live stats and targets will be available on

Last Week in Rifle: The Mountaineers opened their spring season with a 4739-4712 win over No. 10 Navy on Jan. 22, at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range in Annapolis, Maryland … WVU shot a school-record 2364 in smallbore, which was compiled with scores from sophomore Tal Engler (590), sophomore Molly McGhin (589), freshman Natalie Perrin (589), junior Akihito Shimizu (592) and senior Verena Zaisberger (593) … Navy bested West Virginia in the air rifle relay, 2382-2375 … eight Mountaineer shooters placed inside the top 10 on the individual leaderboard, including Zaisberger, who showed an aggregate score of 1186 … the Hohenems, Austria, native also led WVU in smallbore, with a 593, while sophomore Matt Sanchez tallied a 597 in air rifle to pace the squad.

Notes: West Virginia is now 10-0 on the year, its best start to a season since 2018-19, when WVU finished the regular season 13-0 … during his 16 seasons at West Virginia, coach Jon Hammond has won at least 10 regular-season matches 11 times … the Mountaineers rank No. 2 nationally in average aggregate score (4725.5), average smallbore score (2347.375) and are No. 3 in the country in average air rifle score (2378.125) … McGhin (1182.667) continues to lead WVU in aggregate average and ranks No. 7 nationally in the category … the Griffin, Georgia, native also leads the squad with a 595.5 average in air rifle, good for No. 9 nationally … Zaisberger (588.25) paces the squad in smallbore average and ranks seventh in the country in the discipline.

This Week in Tennis: The Mountaineers travel to Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, Jan. 30, to face Cleveland State … the dual-match against the Vikings is set to begin at 2 p.m. ET.

Last Week in Tennis: West Virginia traveled to University Park, Pennsylvania on Friday, Jan. 21, for their first dual-match of the 2022 spring slate … the Mountaineers fell to the Nittany Lions 2-5 on Friday night … freshmen Michaela Kucharova and Tatiana Lipatova were the only two to notch victories for WVU … Kucharova defeated PSU’s Karly Friedland in two-straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 … Lipatova topped Alexandra Nielsen (3-6,7-6(5), 10-8) to claim her first collegiate victory … sophomore Momoko Nagato and senior Anastasiia Bovolskaia fell in two straight sets, while sophomore Ting-Pei Chang and freshman Camilla Bossi battled through three-sets, but ultimately suffered losses … the squad went 0-2 in doubles play on Friday evening.

Notes: WVU opened its 2021 fall circuit when they co-hosted Thunder in the Mountains, alongside Marshall, Sept. 24-26 … after hosting the annual Martha Thorn Invitational, the Mountaineers traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to compete at ITA Super Regionals … Nagato and Hsieh’s appeared in the ITA Atlantic Super Regional quarterfinal round, which marks WVU’s first time since Kat Lyman and Anne-Sophie Courteau in 2019 … the 2021 fall circuit concluded Nov. 5-7 at the Big 12 Fall Invite in Stillwater, Oklahoma … Kucharova lead the team with the highest record (14-4), including a 9-1 singles record and a 5-3 doubles record … following competition in Cleveland, the Mountaineers travel to Williamsburg, Virginia to play William & Mary on Feb. 5 followed by a trip to Richmond, Va. on Feb. 6 to play VCU.

Home Page forums School Record Earns WVU Rifle Weekly Honors; Varsity Sports Update

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    After shooting a program-record 2364 in smallbore at No. 10 Navy on Jan. 22, the West Virginia University rifle team has been named the WVU Student-At
    [See the full post at: School Record Earns WVU Rifle Weekly Honors; Varsity Sports Update]


    Congratulations to the rifle team.  Am not familiar with the sport;  didn’t realize that 7 of 10 team members are female.  Is that typical for other teams?  Past years at WVU?


    Most rifle teams are co-ed, and that has been the case at WVU for many years. I will have to look and see when the sport went co-ed.

    A few, like TCU, are all female.

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Home Page forums School Record Earns WVU Rifle Weekly Honors; Varsity Sports Update

Home Page forums School Record Earns WVU Rifle Weekly Honors; Varsity Sports Update