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 West Virginia rifle team finished with a score of 4713 in the NCAA Qualifying Match to send them to the NCAA Championships as the Mountaineers will look to reclaim their sixth title in the last nine years. 

The Mountaineers finished with a mark of 2333 in the smallbore and 2380 in the air rifle. 

"We had a slow start in kneeling today, but we had a really good performance in standing to balance it out," coach Jon Hammond said. "Air rifle was steady and overall, it was a solid performance, but with plenty of areas of improvement. It will be enough for us to qualify for the championships. That's always the main objective and now we can get ready for our conference championship this coming weekend before focusing on the NCAA championships."

Freshman Tal Engler led the way in the smallbore, scoring both a personal-best and a program record 200 mark. Jared Eddy finished just behind her in second with a mark of 590. Malori Brown took third place, followed by Molly McGhin in fourth and Verena Zaisberger in fifth. 

Becca Lamb finished in tenth place with a mark of 578, while Sarah Osborn and Calistia Smoyer also had 578 marks and tied for eleventh place. 

"It was great to see Tal shoot a personal best in smallbore," Hammond said. " I hope that will give her some extra confidence. It's always good to see them shoot personal bests at this stage of the season and hopefully, we'll see a few more.”

Akihito Shimizu finished first in the air rifle with a 598, followed by Smoyer second with a mark of 597. Once again, McGhin and Zaisbergerer, finishing in third and fourth place in the air rifle. 

Additionally, WVU outshot both Ohio State and Akron, who were also competing with the Mountaineers. 

The team will next compete at the Great American Rifle Conference Championship on February 27and will continue to prepare for the upcoming NCAA championships in March.