MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –- No. 1-ranked West Virginia resumed its season right where it left off, as the Mountaineers trumped No. 8 Nebraska, 4,689-4,661, Saturday at the WVU Rifle Range.
The shoulder-to-shoulder match between the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foes was one-sided, as WVU (10-0, 5-0 GARC) defeated the Cornhuskers (7-5, 2-2 GARC) in both guns, winning smallbore, 2,324-2,309, and air rifle, 2,365-2,352.
“There was a little match-rust [Saturday] coming off winter break, but everyone shot well and had a solid day, and I was happy with our performance,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “We were very disciplined and professional [Saturday]. While we’ve shot higher scores this season, I know our marks will go on as we progress throughout the rest of the year.”
Seven shooters combined for the Mountaineers’ scores, with sophomores Taylor Ciotola and Meelis Kiisk, and freshman Garrett Spurgeon contributing in both guns. Senior Petra Zublasing and sophomore Maren Prediger counted in air rifle, while junior Daniel Sojka and sophomore Thomas Kyanko shot toward the smallbore total.
Zublasing took first in air rifle with a 598 (99-100-99-100-100-100) score. The Appiano, Italy, native, shooting in her final career match at the WVU Rifle Range, did not shoot smallbore. Prediger finished behind Zublasing with a 593, while two NU shooters, Janine Dutton and Katelyn Woltersdorf, tied for third place with 591 marks and teammate Kelsey Hansen shot 589 and placed fifth. Kiisk shot 588 and finished sixth.
Kiisk, a Paide, Estonia, native, paced the smallbore field with a 583 (198 prone, 192 standing, 193 kneeling) score. Sojka and Kyanko tied for second with 581 marks, while Dutton shot 580 and finished fourth. Spurgeon and Ciotola tied for fifth with scores of 579. Additionally, Kyanko and Spurgeon also shot school-record 200 prone scores.
Of note, redshirt-freshman Matthew Martin shot a career-best 571 smallbore.
Kiisk and Dutton tied for first overall with 1,171 aggregate scores. Woltersdorf finished third with a 1,169, while Hansen and Sojka placed fourth with a 1,167.
With the win, WVU improves to 8-3 all-time against NU.