MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Third-ranked West Virginia rifle team shot a season-best score and rolled to a 4,707-4,604 victory against NC State on Sunday in its spring-season opener at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (7-0, 5-0 GARC) trumped their Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2,342-2,274, and air rifle, 2,365-2,330. WVU’s smallbore mark is a season high, while its air rifle score is one shot short of its season-best mark.
“This was a good way to start the spring season. We accomplished what we set out to do,” Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond said. “Everyone is working hard and improving. We have a lot more strength on this team now, and everyone is shooting with a bit more freedom. I think the break in the schedule was good for this team. Everyone shot solid today, and they all put in a good performance.”
Junior Ziva Dvorsak was impressive in her Mountaineer debut, shooting a winning 589 (196 kneeling, 199 prone, 194 standing) smallbore score and finishing third in air rifle with a 594 mark. Dvorsak, a Ljubljana, Slovenia, native and a counter in both guns, tallied a match-best 1,183 aggregate score.
The Mountaineers also took first in air rifle, as junior Maren Prediger shot 597 (100-99-100-99-100-99) for the discipline win. Prediger, a Petersaurach, Germany, native, also was a counter in both guns. Joining Dvorsak and Prediger on the counting team were classmates Meelis Kiisk (smallbore) and Thomas Kyanko (smallbore/air rifle), sophomore Garrett Spurgeon (smallbore/air rifle) and redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas (air rifle).
Spurgeon finished second in smallbore with a season-best 587 mark. Kiisk shot 586, also a season high, and finished third, while Lucas tallied a career-best 585 and placed fourth. Senior Daniel Sojka finished fifth with a season-best 581 mark.
The Mountaineers were particularly strong in smallbore, as freshman Sydney Smith and senior Chance Cover shot career-best 578 and 577 marks, respectively. Additionally, Kyanko shot a program-record 200 prone.
Kiisk finished second behind Prediger in air rifle, matching his career high with a 595 mark. Spurgeon shot 591 and finished fourth behind Dvorsak, while sophomore Patrick Sunderman shot a career-best 590 and placed fifth.
The Wolfpack were paced by Daniel Cliff in smallbore (574) and Alex Martin in air rifle (584).
Kiisk’s season-best aggregate score of 1,181 was good enough for second place. Spurgeon tallied 1,178 and finished third, while Lucas and Sunderman tied for fourth with 1,168 marks, a career best for Lucas. Additionally, Smith’s aggregate total of 1,157 also is a career high.
With the win, the Mountaineers push their perfect record against the Wolfpack to 15-0.