No. 4 UK Rifle defeats N.C. State on First Day in Alaska


FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The fourth ranked Kentucky rifle team won the first leg of this weekend’s two-match slate on Friday. The Wildcats No. 12 N.C. State, 4688-4658, for their fifth ranked win in a row.

“We had to grind for every point today,” head coach Harry Mullins said. “I was proud of the effort from the group to be able to hold it together and stay focused. The things we’ve been working on are starting to take hold. Now, it is a matter of converting that into points.”

The Wildcats shot their second highest air rifle score as a team this season, 2365. The team-high score is 2369, which has been shot four times on the year. In smallbore, Kentucky finished with 2323 to N.C. State’s 2306.

Heather Kirby tied her second-best air rifle (596) and smallbore (578) scores on the season after she set a new personal record in air rifle in the last outing. Kirby’s air rifle score from Friday is now the second highest score by a Wildcat in the discipline for the season. The senior finished second overall with an 1174 aggregate.

Sophomore Jason Spaude stepped up in a major way for Kentucky. Spaude set a new personal record in air rifle after he fired a 591, which was the second best score on the team for the match. The Saginaw, Michigan, native finished one point shy of his career-best smallbore score (581) for the second time this season after he set the mark against No. 18 Akron on Nov. 4. He finished in third place with an 1171 aggregate, one of his higher combined scores.

Hanna Carr led all shooters in smallbore with a 585, which tied her third highest score that she already shot twice previously. Still in smallbore, Carr finished with a four shot advantage over Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky of N.C. State.

Billy Azzinaro finished fifth overall with an 1169 aggregate after he fired a 589 in air rifle and a 580 smallbore.

Alaska native Cathryn Papasodora fired a 589 in air rifle for an eventual 1161 aggregate.

Sonya May finished with an 1151 aggregate after she shot 581 in air rifle.

The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday in a top-10 matchup with host No. 10 Alaska-Fairbanks. Match time is set for Noon E.T. at the E.F. Horton Rifle Range. Live stats for the match can be found here