The No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team returns to Morgantown on Saturday, Jan. 29, to play host to No. 9 Akron and No. 12 Morehead State for a tri-match at the Bill McKenzie Mobile Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building.
Saturday’s match is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. ET. The morning session will take place from 8 a.m.-12 p.m., while the afternoon session will take place from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Live stats and targets will be available on WVUsports.com. Admission is free and open to the public.
Masks are strongly encouraged at WVU Athletics venues during public events.
“It’s great to get back to the Bill McKenzie Range and be competing at home,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “We’re coming off a good performance (at Navy), so we want to build on that. This has been a good week of practice, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the team performs tomorrow.”
West Virginia and Akron meet for the 21st time on Saturday. The Mountaineers are 20-0 all-time against the Zips, with the first meeting between the two teams coming during the 1952 season, a 1409-1319 WVU win.
WVU and Akron met twice during the 2021 season. West Virginia opened last year’s campaign with a 4715-4665 victory over the Zips, before defeating them once more on Jan. 30, 2021, 4734-4660.
The Mountaineers and Morehead State are set to meet for the second time in program history on Saturday. The first meeting between WVU and MSU came during the 2009-09 campaign, when West Virginia defeated the Eagles, 4647-4541, in Morgantown.
Last time out, 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).
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.
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.