A battle between two of the nation's top rifle programs is set to commence, as No. 2 West Virginia plays host to No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 8 a.m., at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers (8-1 overall, 5-1 GARC) and the Nanooks (9-0) are arguably the two-most storied collegiate rifle programs, as they have combined to win 23 NCAA Championships since 1983. WVU has a total of 13 NCAA titles, while UAF has won 10, including the last three.
The two squads have only met eight times since 1989, with the Nanooks holding a 6-2 series advantage. WVU lost last year's contest, 4653-4626, and is searching for its first victory over the West Coast visitors since 1991.
WVU returns to the range after a two-win outing last week, in which the team defeated visiting No. 16 Nebraska, 4650-4622, and No. 18 NC State, 4677-4493. The Mountaineers' winning score against the Wolfpack is a national season high, as no other Division I school has shot better than 4670.
Junior Bryant Wallizer had an exceptionally-strong two-day outing, as the Little Orleans, Md., native paced WVU in air rifle, shooting 590 against the Cornhuskers and a personal-best 593 against the Wolfpack. Wallizer also totaled a season high 579 smallbore score against NC State for a school record 1172 aggregate score.
Fans are encouraged to stop by the range throughout the day as the match will continue into the afternoon.