No. 3 Kentucky Faces No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks

Jan. 12, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky rifle team travels to Murray, Ky., to face off with No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks Sunday morning at the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range.

“It’s always exciting to return to action and hit the road,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “I love going to Murray. It’s a great place to shoot a match; they have great facilities that foster a good environment for us to perform in. We’ve been working hard to push through some of our barriers and I’m hoping this is going to be a good start to that continued step up to where we want to be in terms of performance and numbers.”

The Wildcats return from the Winter break following a 6-1 fall season. Kentucky started off the season with six consecutive wins, all coming over then-ranked top-15 teams.

Senior Henri Junghänel led the Wildcats in smallbore and air rifle averages over the course of the fall, posting a 588.7 average in smallbore and 592.8 in air rifle. Freshman Connor Davis finished the fall with a 590.4 scoring average in air rifle.

The Nanooks enter the contest with solid performances and a 3-2 record on the year with their only two losses coming against No. 2 West Virginia.

“Alaska-Fairbanks is a top program and will present a solid challenge for us this weekend,” Mullins said. “We’re going to have to deliver some high numbers to walk away with a win.”

Kentucky’s smallbore lineup will consist of Junghänel, freshman Connor Davis, junior Emily Holsopple, senior Heather Greathouse and junior Aaron Holsopple. The air rifle lineup features Junghänel, Davis, Emily Holsopple, Greathouse and senior Stacy Wheatley. Aaron Holsopple will compete individually in air rifle while sophomore Elijah Ellis will compete individually in smallbore.

The Wildcats spent the extra time over the Winter break honing their skills and improving on the solid foundation built in the fall.

“I feel our training camp went well,” Mullins said. “Some respond to it differently. Some kind of need, like the lawnmower, a little bit of a primer. Training camp was cut short due to the schedule and costs of people coming back; we’ll see how that works out. I think we still got a lot accomplished; we did a lot in terms of just really reinforcing our fundamentals. I think if we stay true to our fundamentals and things that we’ve focused on in the fall then we should come off with a good start to the spring semester.”