MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team closed the weekend with a solid 4710-4646 victory over No. 8 Nebraska, this afternoon.
The teams competed under a unique format today, shooting smallbore inside the WVU Rifle Range before moving to the indoor track inside the WVU Shell Building for air rifle. The Mountaineers (10-0, 7-0 GARC) took the team wins from their Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe, outshooting the Cornhuskers (8-2, 5-2 GARC) 2344-2303 in smallbore and 2366-2343 in air rifle.
“There was a lot of great effort today from this team, especially in air rifle,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “The conditions were a challenge because everything was different – this wasn’t an environment we shoot in very often. They all faced some struggles and had to use mental strength to stay positive and grind it out.
“We also had a great showing in smallbore, and a lot of that was mental strength and working hard throughout their match. There was probably a lot of self-talk, too. Overall, today was a really good effort, and I’m happy with their overall performance.”
Freshman Milica Babic continues to show improvement in both guns, winning air rifle with a 597 (98-99-100-100-100-100) mark and finishing in second place in smallbore with a career-best 589 (192 kneeling, 198 prone, 199 standing). Included in Babic’s smallbore score was a 199 showing in standing, matching the WVU program record.
Sophomore Ginny Thrasher took the smallbore win with a 592 score (196 kneeling, 199 prone, 197 standing). The Springfield, Virginia, native placed second in air rifle behind Babic with a 596 (100-98-99-99-100-100) mark.
“Those two were the standouts today,” Hammond noted. “They had to work really hard throughout the match to deal with the conditions, but they both had great performances and really led the team.”
Lucas finished third on the team, fourth overall, in air rifle with a 588 total. Phillips followed in sixth place with a 585 mark, and Gratz placed seventh with a 584 score. Anti shot 582, and Anderson finished with a 576.
Five Mountaineers combined for the team’s scores: Babic, Gratz, Lucas, Phillips and Thrasher.
With the win, WVU improves to 12-3 all-time against NU.
The Mountaineers will break from competition for three weeks before a pair of matches in Lexington, Kentucky, Feb. 11-12, against No. 5 Kentucky and No. 3 Murray State.