MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — No. 2 West Virginia defeated No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks 4,719-4,670 at the E.F. Horton Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers’ team score was one shot short of the NCAA record, set by WVU in its win against Ole Miss on Nov. 9.
WVU earned victories in both disciplines, winning smallbore 2,343-2,320 and air rifle 2,376-2,350. The Mountaineers’ air rifle mark matched the school record, also set in the match with the Rebels.
“This was a great performance,” coach Jon Hammond said. “A few needed some time to settle into the match at the beginning, and I wasn’t sure about the outcome early on, but everyone was patient and professional, and I couldn’t be more proud of how this team shot as a whole.
“Our air rifle scores have really picked up lately, and that’s good. I’m definitely pleased with this road score, and I think we’re setting ourselves up nicely the postseason.”
Senior Petra Zublasing won both disciplines, shooting 597 air rifle and 588 smallbore. Sophomore Meelis Kiisk tied for the smallbore win. Kiisk also finished second in air rifle with a career-best score of 594.
“Meelis was the highlight,” Hammond said. “He is becoming a much more consistent and mature shooter. It’s awesome to see these results from him in this environment.”
UAF’s Ryan Anderson finished third in smallbore with a 586 score. Freshman Garrett Spurgeon shot 585 and finished fourth, while sophomore Taylor Ciotola shot 582 and finished fifth.
Ciotola tied Kiisk for second in air rifle with a 594 mark. Sophomores Thomas Kyanko and Maren Prediger finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with scores of 592 and 591.
Anderson, Tim Sherry and Cole Bures paced the Nanooks with 589s.
With the win, WVU improved to 7-6 all-time against UAF.