WVU Reveals 2018-19 Rifle Schedule
The Mountaineer rifle team knows its path in its attempt to regain the NCAA title, as WVU announced the 2018-19 rifle schedule.
The nation-best 19-time NCAA Champion Mountaineers, who are the reigning National Champion runners-up, will face six of their seven opponents from the 2018 NCAA National Championships, including matches at Kentucky, the 2018 National Champion, and third-place finisher TCU.
The Mountaineers’ slate culminates with the 2019 NCAA National Championships, set for March 8-9 at the WVU Coliseum. This year’s championship marks the first-ever NCAA final in Morgantown.
“Given the history of our program, it’s incredibly exciting for the WVU rifle team to host West Virginia University’s first NCAA final,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “We know our fans and program supporters are excited for this year’s championship, as is the team and the University. I hope this can be a really big and great event.
“Our whole schedule will build up to the NCAA National Championships. As a team, we’ll have to work a bit harder to stay in our bubble and not put too much focus on the match.”
The 2018-19 schedule features eight home matches, including the NCAA National Championships. 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.
“We’re excited about this schedule. Our facility flexibility is great. We can hold matches in the WVU Shell Building and the WVU Rifle Range, and hopefully this season, in the WVU Coliseum, too,” Hammond said. “I think that is exciting and beneficial for our team. We’ll be able to practice in different environments, which will help us prepare for the postseason.”
The Mountaineers open the season and the defense of their five straight Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) crowns at Akron on Sept. 29.
WVU continues its GARC slate and opens its home season against Memphis on Oct. 14.
The Mountaineers will hold two, three-way matches at the WVU Coliseum Oct. 20-21. WVU will face Ohio State and Murray State on Saturday, Oct. 20, and Nebraska and Air Force on Sunday, Oct. 21. Both matches are set to begin at 10 a.m.
WVU will shoot a pair of matches in West Point, New York, Oct. 27-28, competing against host Army West Point on Saturday before a shoulder-to-shoulder match against Coast Guard on Sunday. The Mountaineers continue their road trip at TCU on Nov. 10. It is WVU’s first visit to the Horned Frogs’ home range since the 2011-12 season.
WVU concludes the fall portion of its schedule in Morgantown against NC State on Nov. 17.
The Mountaineers open their spring slate with a pair of home matches against GARC foes Mississippi and Navy on Jan. 19 and Jan. 26, respectively. WVU closes its regular season at Kentucky on Feb. 9. The match pits the last two National Champions against each other and will help determine the GARC regular-season championship.
“This schedule will challenge the team this year, and that’s what we’re always hoping to do,” Hammond added. “We want to shoot against the best teams in the toughest environments. Shooting at TCU and at Kentucky will certainly accomplish that goal this year.”
WVU will play host to an NCAA Qualifying Match on Feb. 16 before traveling to Akron, Ohio, for the GARC Championships Feb. 23-24. The Mountaineers have claimed nine straight GARC Championship titles and 13 overall.
The Mountaineers look to reclaim the NCAA Championship and earn their sixth title in seven seasons at the 2019 NCAA National Championships, March 8-9, at the WVU Coliseum. More information about the championship will be released later this year.
Seven student-athletes return for the Mountaineers this season, including seniors Ginny Thrasher and Will Anti. WVU boasts three national champions, including junior Morgan Phillips, the two-time reigning NCAA smallbore champion. She is joined by Thrasher, the 2016 NCAA smallbore and air rifle champion, and classmate Milica Babic, the 2017 NCAA air rifle champion. The Mountaineers concluded the 2017-18 season at 13-0, their fourth undefeated season in five years.
2018-19 WVU Rifle Schedule
Date Opponent Place Time
Sept. 29 Akron* Akron, Ohio 8 a.m.
Oct. 14 Memphis* Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Oct. 20 Ohio State and Murray State Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Oct. 21 Nebraska* and Air Force Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Oct. 27 Army West Point* West Point, N.Y. 8 a.m.
Oct. 28 Coast Guard West Point, N.Y. 8 a.m.
Nov. 10 TCU Fort Worth, Texas 9 a.m.
Nov. 17 NC State* Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Jan. 19 Mississippi* Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Jan. 26 Navy* Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Feb. 9 Kentucky* Lexington, Ky. 8 a.m.
Feb. 16 NCAA Qualifying Match Morgantown, W.Va. 10 a.m.
Feb. 23-24 GARC Championships Akron, Ohio All Day
March 8-9 NCAA Championships Morgantown, W.Va. All Day