MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team competes in an NCAA Qualifying Match on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (12-0, 8-0 GARC) welcome No. 5 Alaska-Fairbanks for the qualifier. The two teams will shoot in a shoulder-to-shoulder match, but the score will not count as a win or loss for the season. Their scores will factor into their overall standings for the NCAA Championships selection.
Competition is set to begin at 8 a.m.
“Every team’s score from the NCAA Qualifier Match will be added to their season overall average,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “After this weekend, the top eight teams will qualify for NCAA Championships.”
This is the second time this season Alaska-Fairbanks will shoot in Morgantown.
“It’s great to have Alaska-Fairbanks come back for qualifiers,” Hammond added. “We will have a competitor on the line this weekend that is very likely to be at NCAA Championships as well.”
The top eight teams and individual competitors selected to compete in the NCAA Championships will be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 5 p.m. This year’s NCAA Championships will be held at the Ohio State University on March 10-11.
, the only Mountaineer senior, will be recognized following Saturday’s competition.
“Every match is another match, we try to treat them all the same, but naturally it’s significant when someone has their last home match,” Hammond said. “He’s had an incredible journey over the past five years here. It’s our senior day, and it’s unique only having one senior and with him being our team captain.”
Most recently, WVU faced No. 6 Kentucky on Feb. 11 and No. 3 Murray State on Feb. 12.
The Mountaineers outshot the Wildcats, 4718-4675, scoring 2382-2356 in air rifle and 2336-2319 in smallbore. The win over the Wildcats secured the Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) regular-season title for the Mountaineers. Of note, junior Elizabeth Gratz
shot a career high and NCAA record air rifle score of 600.
WVU defeated Murray State, 4726-4713, scoring 2381-2373 in air rifle and 2345-2340 in smallbore. The Mountaineers shot a season-high aggregate score against the Racers.