Kentucky Rifle Falls to Top Ranked West Virginia

Feb. 8, 2014

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – With Emily Holsopple shooting a season-best 596 in air rifle, the University of Kentucky rifle team dropped its final match of the regular season Saturday, losing 4702-4688 at West Virginia, as the Mountaineers claimed the Great America Rifle Conference regular season title.

“It’s always disappointing losing but we lost to a great team,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “Hats off to them, they did a phenomenal job. We left a few points out there and just couldn’t get going in air rifle. I did think we performed well in situations just came up short on points.”

The Wildcats trailed the Mountaineers in smallbore by three following kneeling and prone but a seven-point advantage in standing boosted UK into a four-point lead after smallbore, 2324-2320.

Senior Emily Holsopple led Kentucky in smallbore, shooting a 587 to lead the Wildcats in the opening event for the 11th time this year. Freshman Sonya May followed with a 583 in smallbore for Kentucky, her best smallbore score in the spring.

Sophomore Connor Davis posted a 579 in smallbore, while senior Aaron Holsopple shot a 575.

The Mountaineers used a strong air rifle showing to claim the victory, as Kentucky shot a 2364 to West Virginia’s 2382.

Emily Holsopple’s 596 in air rifle marks the best air rifle performance of the year for a Wildcat. Davis was a few points behind with a 592, his 11th time above 590 in air rifle.

May posted a 589 in air rifle and junior Jonathan Pinkel shot a 587 as a counter.

As an individual, junior Elijah Ellis recorded a 591 to finish off the day.

West Virginia saw three shooters post a 596 in air rifle.

“We struggled a little bit and if we work on some things over the next weeks I think we can make a strong push in the postseason,” Mullins said. “We just have to keep working and refine a few things to hopefully pick up some more points.”

Kentucky will return to action in two weeks, hosting NCAA Qualifiers.