The No. 2 West Virginia University rifle team will finish its fall 2013 season on the road against Navy at Bancroft Hall Rifle Range in Annapolis, Md.
“A lot of us have not been to Navy and haven’t shot there; only a couple have shot on that range before so it’s exciting,” said head coach Jon Hammond.
The Mountaineers didn’t have the fast start to the season they had in 2012, but Hammond said he is impressed with their improvement during the last couple of weeks.
Hammond said he also believes it is important for his team to finish their final match strong on the road. He said the strong finish is needed because the Mountaineers have a long break coming before they start the second half of their season Jan. 19.
“We definitely want to put in a strong performance and finish this part of the season well,” he said.
The Mountaineers didn’t compete last weekend due to a break in the schedule, and Hammond hopes to have the same result as they did after their first break this season.
After their week off, the Mountaineers went on to defeat No. 12 Army Oct. 26 4,695-4,669. The Mountaineers put up season-high scores, including smallbore where they defeated Army 2,337-2,323. The Mountaineers also won air rifle 2,358-2,344.
The last time the Mountaineers had a week off they put up the best scores of the season, to which Hammond said proved the much needed time to work on the finer details.
“I think the guys need more time to get caught up on school as well. So the weekend off is really good for everyone,” Hammond said.
WVU has enjoyed a lot of time at home so far this season. It has only had one road competition so far. This only adds to the importance of this match for the Mountaineers because impressive road scores are important for NCAA qualifiers.
“It’s another match that we’ll want to score well for NCAA qualifiers, so it definitely has a lot of importance for us,” Hammond said.
The Mountaineers are peaking at the right time, finishing with their highest score of the season against Akron Nov. 3.
The Mountaineers outshot Akron 4,690-4,605, their highest margin of victory this season.
The Navy rifle team fell on the road last weekend to No. 1 Kentucky by a 4,693-4,593 final score.
Navy will also be looking for a strong finish to its season after its poor smallbore result at Kentucky.
As a team, Navy shot a 2,280 in smallbore, compared to the top-ranked Wildcats’ 2,328. The Wildcats also defeated Navy 2,365-2,313 in air rifle.
The Mountaineers will compete Saturday in a match expected to last all day. Those who want to follow the scores online can find them at http://www.wvusports.com.