Rifle Heads to West Virginia for Top Two Showdown
Feb. 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The second-ranked University of Kentucky rifle will square off with top-ranked West Virginia Saturday in Morgantown, W. Va., to close out the regular season.
“West Virginia is a great team,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “They are coming off a win Thursday vs. Alaska-Fairbanks and shot phenomenal air rifle. Looking at the past 10 years, it’s always been a good match, win, lose or draw. The experience both teams get is a positive leading into conference and NCAA championships.”
Kentucky’s smallbore counters will include seniors Aaron and Emily Holsopple, sophomore Connor Davis and freshmen Heather Kirby and Sonya May. Air rifle counters include Emily Holsopple, Davis, Kirby, May and junior Jonathan Pinkel.
Kentucky enters the weekend after knocking off No. 6 Nebraska, shooting a 4680 to the Huskers’ 4659. May led the Wildcats with an individual aggregate of 1172, opening with a 580 in smallbore followed by a 592 in air rifle.
The Mountaineers defeated No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks Thursday, posting a 4709, the third time West Virginia has broken 4700 this season.
“West Virginia is well balanced,” Mullins said. “They’re really putting up some big numbers right now so it’s going to take us being very focused on what we’re trying to do to be able to put up numbers that will lead to the result we’re looking for.”
The two met last year to close out the season as the top-two teams, with Kentucky claiming victory 4704-4695. The Mountaineers went on to win the Great America Rifle Conference Championships and the NCAA Championships, while UK finished second at each event.
“It’s always exciting competing against them because they are such a great program,” Mullins said. “We’re going to need to be on our game and be ready to handle the pressure situations. We’ve been working hard in practice, need to stay focused on what we’ve been doing and then translate some additional stuff over that we’ve seen in practice. I’m looking forward to this challenge.”
Live stats of the match will be available on WVUSports.com.