Second Half Begins

Following a two-month break in action, the No. 2 West Virginia University rifle team resumes its season by playing host to No. 16 Nebraska and No. 18 NC State on Friday, Jan. 16, and Sunday, Jan. 18, respectively, at the WVU Rifle Range.

Both GARC matches are set to begin at 8 a.m., and fans are encouraged to attend throughout the day, as the matches will last into the afternoon.

"The team definitely needs to get back in to matches," says Coach Jon Hammond. "We had our break, which was needed, especially on the mental side. I think we're a little ways away from still reaching our peak. I don't think we're going to be there this weekend, but I will be looking for good, solid performances.

"Our main goal is keep improving week to week this season. We are just going to take each match as it comes. We'll focus on Friday, then focus on Sunday, and hopefully come away with two wins."

WVU defeated both opponents last season, as the Mountaineers edged Nebraska, 4615-4599, and moved past NC State convincingly, 4618-4506. The Cornhuskers hold a 3-2 series advantage, while WVU has never lost to the Wolfpack in their previous eight meetings.

WVU (6-1 overall, 3-1 GARC) last competed in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 15-16, losing to No. 1 Kentucky, 4649-4639, and defeating No. 13 Memphis, 4656-4592.

The Mountaineers (6-1 overall, 3-1 GARC) retained their No. 2 ranking in the Dec. 15 College Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Mid-Season Rankings after opening the season with five-straight wins. The start was the squad's best since opening the 2008 season undefeated at 8-0.

At the mid-season break, the Mountaineers held the second best smallbore average (2309.1) and the second best air rifle average (2341.0) in the nation.

The Mountaineers stay at home next weekend and host three-time defending and 10-time overall NCAA Champion, No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks, on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 8 a.m.

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