MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team opened its 2023-24 season with a 4751-4696 win over No. 11 Akron on Saturday afternoon, at the Bill McKenzie Rifle Range in Morgantown. The mark ties the aggregate score program record that was set last season on Jan. 14, against Alaska-Fairbanks.

The Mountaineers claimed both disciplines in the match, winning smallbore with a score of 2364-2335 and air rifle 2387-2361. WVU is now 22-0 all-time against the Zips.

For smallbore and air rifle, fifth-year Mary Tucker, seniors Matt Sanchez and Molly McGhin, Junior Gavin Barnick and Freshman Griffin Lake counted towards WVU’s total team score. 

Tucker and Lake led the way for the Mountaineers on the leaderboard, finishing first with 1188 aggregate scores. Tucker finished with a 595 in smallbore, the highest of the match, and a 593 in air rifle. Making his Mountaineer debut, Lake shot a 590 in smallbore before turning in a 598 in air rifle.

Checking in at No. 3 on the overall leaderboard was McGhin, who shot a 589 in smallbore and added a 598 in air rifle for a combined total of 1187. Sanchez followed behind McGhin with an aggregate score of 1186 (582 smallbore, 594 air rifle). His mark in both disciplines matched career highs while his aggregate score is a career best.

Lake, McGhin and Sanchez all set the highest marks in air rifle action.

Fifth year Malori Brown came in fifth overall with a total of 1184, including a 591 in smallbore and a 593 in air rifle. Barnick opened his Mountaineer career with an 1183, securing the Mountaineers the top-six spots on the individual leaderboard. He scored a 590 in smallbore and a 593 in air rifle.

Senior Tal Engler, junior Natalie Perrin and senior Becca Lamb also cracked the top 10, finishing with a 1176, 1175 and a 1174, respectively. Engler managed a 585 in smallbore and a 591 in air rifle to take eighth as Perrin turned in a 586 in smallbore and a 589 in air rifle to finish ninth. Lamb finished in a tie for 10th place after scores of 583 in smallbore and 591 in air rifle.

Also making his WVU debut, freshman Maximus Duncan turned in a 1152 with scores of 565 in smallbore and 587 in air rifle.

Next up, WVU takes to the road for the first time, on Saturday, Oct. 14, when they take on No. 4 Ole Miss. The match against the Rebels is set to begin at 8 a.m. ET, in Oxford, Mississippi.