Malori Brown

Senior Malori Brown finished tied for second, shooting an aggregate of 1186 against Akron on Jan. 22, 2023.

The No. 3 West Virginia University rifle team made the best of its weekend in Ohio, outshooting both the Ohio State Buckeyes and the No. 10 Akron Zips.

The Mountaineers started their weekend in Columbus, Ohio, defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes 4740-4713. The win marked the 51st straight win against the Buckeyes, as the Mountaineers have never lost to them.

West Virginia went ahead during smallbore shooting, winning that portion 2357-2345 before outshooting Ohio State 2383-2368 in air rifle.

Senior Olympian Mary Tucker led all shooters in the match, shooting a 591 in the smallbore and a 598 in the air rifle for an overall aggregate score of 1189.

Senior Malori Brown finished tied for second among all shooters, shooting a 593 twice for an aggregate of 1186.

WVU head coach Jon Hammond was pleased with the team’s performance but said they could still get better.

"We're happy with another solid team performance, and we improved our NCAA qualifying average for the year," Hammond said. "No one shot their best today, so there is plenty of room for improvement, but there were lots of positive and productive parts.

Hammond talked about facing Akron, saying it would be a big test for the team

“Tomorrow will be challenging, completing four matches in 10 days, so it will be about their resiliency and mental toughness to deal with that and still perform to the best of their ability."

The Mountaineers passed that test with flying colors with a 4742-4695 victory over the Zips at the Robert A. Pinn shooting range in Akron, Ohio.

Like the day before, the Mountaineers won both the smallbore and air rifle portions, winning 2362-2329 and 2381-2366 respectively.

Tucker once again led all shooters, shooting 596 in the smallbore and an exceptional 599 in the air rifle for 1195.

Junior Molly McGhin came in second place, shooting 591 and 596 (1187 total).

Hammond praised WVU’s ability to improve and overall was very happy with the performance.

“We’re pleased with another good match today. Many members of the team made some good adjustments from yesterday and were able to put in really solid performances,” Hammond said. “I think even more positive is that there is still a lot of room to improve, I don’t think we had any personal bests today, yet we still had a very solid team result.”

The Mountaineers will take to the range again on Saturday, Jan. 28, when they welcome Navy to Morgantown.

Sports Writer

Jake Howard is a senior journalism major and sports communication minor at WVU, from Leesburg, Virginia. Jake is a lifelong sports fan, he covered sports on YouTube previously and now writes about sports for the DA.