A West Virginia Mountaineer competes in the air rifle competition in West Virginia's quad-match versus Akron, Ole Miss and Navy on Jan. 30, 2021.

A West Virginia Mountaineer competes in the air rifle competition in West Virginia's quad-match versus Akron, Ole Miss and Navy on Jan. 30, 2021. 

The No. 4 West Virginia University rifle team dropped its final match of the regular season on Saturday against No. 2 Kentucky by a score of 4723-4717.

West Virginia (7-1, 4-1 GARC) beat Kentucky (13-1, 6-0 GARC) in the air rifle portion of the event 2384-2379, but that was not enough to overcome the deficit in the smallbore portion as Kentucky outscored the Mountaineers 2344-2333. 

The Mountaineers were led by a pair of sophomores Akihito Shimizu who finished third best overall on the day scoring 1182 points and Calista Smoyer who was the other Mountaineer to crack the top five as she finished with 1180 points. 

“I think there were a lot of areas that we could make up points, and while it's a loss, it was only by six points with a lot of room for improvement,” coach Jon Hammond said. “We'll get back in the range this week to keep working hard and finding ways to get better. We look forward to the NCAA qualifying match next weekend.”

The Mountaineers did not have an individual scorer place first in either air rifle or smallbore. The Mountaineers had three athletes crack the top five in air rifle, and only two athletes placed in the top five in the smallbore. 

West Virginia closed its regular season today but will look to improve by next weekend as the Mountaineers head into the NCAA Qualifying match next Saturday, at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range on the campus of Ohio State.