Now that the regular season is over for the WVU rifle team, they will have their sights set on bringing another national championship back to Morgantown.

Saturday was the team’s final tune up before postseason play starts up. West Virginia (13-0, 9-0 GARC) shot a 4711 in the NCAA qualifying match. Morgan Phillips led the way, shooting 586 in air rifle and 597- a mark that ties her career high- in smallbore.

The Mountaineers appear to be ready for the postseason, as they will host the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) championships next weekend.

“I liked our air rifle today,” said head coach Jon Hammond, “everyone struggled a little in smallbore… it was good to see them reset and finish strong.”

WVU will be looking to add on to their long list of NCAA championship wins. The Mountaineers have won five straight, and have won six since Hammond became the head coach starting with the 2006-07 season.

Last season, WVU took home the national championship in Columbus, Ohio as Ohio State played host. As well as winning the team championship, two Mountaineers won the air rifle and smallbore titles.

Milica Babic won air rifle and Morgan Phillips won the smallbore event. Babic entered the air rifle final with a 598 and won the event with a score of 208.1. As for Phillips in smallbore, she shot a winning 464.3. Phillips also took second place in air rifle, finishing behind Babic.

Because of Phillips’ performance all weekend long, she earned the NCAA Championships Top Performer Award.

“Morgan shot a personal best both days, and that’s unbelievable at an event like this,” Hammond said. “She’s so calm but also mentally tough. She did a great job.”

After winning last season, Hammond said “They’ve been one of the best teams we’ve had. Their strength all year has been consistency and to do that at the championship and to win both events was a great achievement. Obviously a great feeling to do that and take away all three trophies.”

The Mountaineers have to feel good about their position heading into postseason play in 2018.

Asst. Sports Editor

Matt is a senior from Cleveland, Ohio majoring in journalism with a double minor in sport communication and sport and exercise psychology. With his time at the DA, he has covered women's tennis, the rifle team, women's soccer, and football.