No. 1 WVU hopes to continue strong play vs. Navy
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 08:10
The No. 1 West Virginia rifle team will take the range Saturday against Navy for the first time since setting a new NCAA team score record of 4,717 in its last outing against Memphis Oct. 16.
Despite their record-setting performance against Memphis, the Mountaineers were quickly reminded the pressure is still on after No. 2 Kentucky posted a score of 4716 in its Oct. 21 match against Army.
"Kentucky went and shot a 4,716 – only one point less than what we shot, so any complacency that we might have had was destroyed pretty quickly," said head coach Jon Hammond. "We know that no longer can we look at that score as some amazing, huge score that we shot.
"That can pretty quickly refocus you."
With the record-breaking score behind them, the Mountaineers moved their focus to the Navy match this weekend. Hammond hopes to see more consistency from his Mountaineer squad against the Midshipmen.
"I really just want to see them continuing to perform well," Hammond said. "It would be really good to start seeing us perform more consistently. Last year, we were up-and-down in our scores. This year we’ve been at a higher level and more consistent, so I’d like to see them continue improving."
Hammond wants to see a good team effort, rather than individual members stepping up.
"It doesn’t necessarily need to be personal best or huge scores, but solid, consistent matches," Hammond said. "Really just the way they shoot. Keep working on the things they’ve been working on in practice, whether it’s discipline or just how they approach the match."
The Mountaineers have been on an 11-day hiatus since posting the record-breaking score. Despite the break, Hammond was not worried about the No. 1 team lulling over the extended break.
"I think they look forward to the matches," Hammond said. "I think they are excited to shoot a match. I think as soon as they get up on Saturday morning that match atmosphere will be there, and they’ll be ready to come in and compete.
With a powerhouse program like West Virginia, that is the attitude Hammond expects. Hammond was not worried about the Mountaineers extended break, and he is not worried about them succumbing to the pressure of being a No. 1 team coming off an NCAA-record-breaking win.
"I think there is enough pressure on themselves that they want to be the best that they can be," Hammond said. "That’s some of my job – to take (the pressure) away and take the focus on score away.
"It doesn’t matter what score we got last match or record we did shoot. We’re just moving onto this match and trying to shoot the best we can."