The West Virginia University rifle team is back in action this weekend with two big matches away from home.
WVU is traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska to take on No. 9-ranked Ole Miss on Saturday and No. 5-ranked Alaska-Fairbanks on Sunday.
The Mountaineers are coming off a win at home last Sunday against Akron, 4711- 4703. That match was the first since the middle of November as WVU started the second half of their season in winning fashion.
Ginny Thrasher took first place in the air rifle and David Koenders grabbed first in smallbore. Head coach Jon Hammond was encouraged by the teams’ strong start to the spring.
"I think today was a solid start to the semester,” Hammond said. “This was the first match back from the break, and there was an adjustment period, but the things we wanted to accomplish, we did."
Mississippi is coming off of an impressive showing its last time out, beating No. 9 Nebraska and recording a school record aggregate score of 4669.
Senior Jessica Haig led the Rebels in smallbore and freshman Abby Buesseler led them in air rifle.
Ole Miss is 5-3 this season with one of those losses coming against WVU. Back on Oct. 21, the Mountaineers defeated the Rebels in Morgantown by a score of 4739- 4647.
Alaska-Fairbanks is a perfect 6-0 on the season and defeated The Citadel in its last match by a score of 4687- 4594 in South Carolina.
Redshirt senior Sagen Maddalena took first in both smallbore and air rifle, shooting winning scores of 582 and 596, respectively.
“Our top shooters were all in the top-10, which I'm really proud of. Sagen had another spectacular day,” said Alaska-Fairbanks head coach Layne Lewis.
These matches this weekend will be a tough test for WVU, who held on to the top spot in the rankings this week. Mississippi and Alaska-Fairbanks are top caliber teams and WVU could see one or both of them when tournament time rolls around in about a month.
The two matches each start at noon EST.