No. 2 WVU rifle defeats No. 11 NC State to extend winning streak

Gold and Blue Nation

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team extended its season-opening win streak to four matches after defeating No. 11 NC State, 4730-4652, on Sunday afternoon, at the James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I’m very happy with our performance today,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “It was a big, team effort with a number of them shooting over 1180 combined score. I think all 10 shot above 580 in smallbore, which may be a first, and that’s great to see the depth and competition we have. There were many solid individual performances but also many areas where we can continue to improve and get better. We’ll enjoy a few weeks off before a big match with TCU.”

The Mountaineers captured victories on both guns, defeating the Wolfpack 2348-2294 in smallbore and 2382-2358 in air rifle.

All 10 Mountaineer shooters placed inside the top 10 on the overall match leaderboard, while also capturing the top-10 spots on the match smallbore standings. Additionally, WVU claimed the top-eight spots on the air rifle leaderboard. In total, five Mountaineers showed an aggregate score of 1180 or better and every shooter tallied a 581 or better in smallbore.

West Virginia was led by sophomore Becca Lamb’s career day in Raleigh. The Centreville, Virginia, native tallied to new career bests in aggregate (1186), smallbore (589) and air rifle score (597). Lamb recorded team-bests in aggregate score and air rifle against the Wolfpack.

Lamb was followed on the overall match leaderboard by fellow sophomore Molly McGhin, who netted new career highs in aggregate (1185) and smallbore score (590). Of note, McGhin’s 590 in smallbore was the best mark on the team against NC State. The Griffin, Georgia, also shot a 595 in air rifle.

Junior Akihito Shimizu follow Lamb and McGhin in third place with an aggregate score of 1183. The Tokushima, Japan, native recorded a 586 in smallbore (194 kneeling, 195 prone, 197 standing) and a season-best 597 in air rifle (99-99-100-100-100-99).

Senior Verena Zaisberger finished in fourth place after totaling an aggregate score of 1182, which included 586 in smallbore and a season-high 596 in air rifle (100-99-97-100-100-100). Sophomore Tal Engler followed behind in fifth place with an aggregate score of 1180. The Tzur Yigal, Israel, native tallied a 586 in smallbore and a 594 in air rifle.

Sophomore Matt Sanchez took sixth place in the match with an aggregate score of 1178 (583 smallbore, 595 air rifle) and has now tallied a 595 in air rifle in back-to-back weeks. Sanchez was followed by junior Calista Smoyer, who came in seventh. The Slatington, Pennsylvania, native shot a 583 in smallbore and a 593 in air rifle for an aggregate score of 1176.

Junior Malori Brown tallied an aggregate score of 1174 (588 smallbore, 586 air rifle) to claim eighth place, while senior Jared Eddy scored an 1173 (584 smallbore, 589 air rifle) to finish ninth.

Freshman Natalie Perrin rounded out the day for West Virginia and finished in 10th place. The Coopersville, Michigan, native shot an 1173 overall, including a 581 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle.

With the win, WVU moves to 22-0 all-time against NC State.

Next up, West Virginia will have a week off before traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to compete against TCU on Saturday, Nov. 6. The contest against the Horned Frogs is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET, and will be held at the X Count in Fort Wayne.

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