The West Virginia University rifle team went into this week ranked No. 2 nationally after a two-week break. After Sunday, they should be in the conversation for top place as the Mountaineers won their home opener, defeating rival Memphis, 4711-4639.
The Mountaineers won in both smallbore, 2331-2304, and air rifle, 2380-2335. The scores were higher than their season opener victory at Akron.
“I think it was a good match for us to have and to get back into the swing of things,” said head coach Jon Hammond. “We had some good performances today.”
Senior Ginny Thrasher won in the individual competitions while shooting a season-best 599 air rifle, which was a two-shot improvement from her season opener. Thrasher also shot 589 in smallbore, which was a seven-shot increase from the season opener as well.
Junior Milica Babic finished in second just behind Thrasher while shooting a 597 in air rifle, which tied her prior score in the season opener. Sophomore Sarah Osborn placed third while shooting 593 with a four-shot increase. Sophomore David Koenders and freshman Jared Eddy both placed fifth while shooting 591 each. Senior Will Anti shot 582 which was good enough for eighth place, and sophomore Noah Baker placed 10th while shooting 581 for the Mountaineers.
Leighton Dempster placed fourth while shooting 592, which was the highest place for the Tigers.
Koenders shot 583 in smallbore, which was a six-shot increase which was good enough to net him a second-place finish. Osborn finished with a third-place score of 580 while Babic and Eddy tied for fourth while shooting 579 apiece. Anti shot 577 finishing in seventh and Barker finished right behind him with a score of 556.
With this win, the Mountaineers are 13-2 all-time against the Memphis Tigers.
The Mountaineers are home next week as they reset to square up against No.4 Murray State and Ohio State on Saturday at 2 p.m., then take on No. 5 Air Force and Nebraska on Sunday at 9 a.m.