Varsity Sports Report

The WVU rifle team has been named the WVU Team of the Week following its victory at the NCAA Rifle Championships on Saturday, March 14, at the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Mountaineers battled back from a 21-point deficit to claim the national title with a score of 4643. WVU won the air rifle championship (2353) and finished sixth in smallbore (2290).

Redshirt-junior Bryant Wallizer finished second individually in air rifle with a score of 691, 0.6 points short of first place. Sophomore Andy Lamson took third in air rifle with a score of 689.7, while classmate Tommy Santelli finished fifth with a score of 687.5. Freshman Michael Kulbacki shot 686.9 air rifle and finished sixth. Lamson paced the Mountaineers Friday in the smallbore competition, shooting 574 and finishing 14th overall.

Special Notes of the Week

  • The women's basketball team will learn its postseason fate tonight when the WNIT bracket is announced.

  • The WVU baseball team opens up Big East play this week against UConn in a three-game road series begininng on March 20.

  • The WVU rifle team is the NCAA's most successful program in its history.

    This Week in Women's Basketball

    The Mountaineers regular season play has concluded … WVU will know its WNIT fate Monday evening.

    Last Week in Women's Basketball

    The Mountaineers were idle.

    Notes and Quotes

    The WNIT tournament is a 48-team field with 31 teams earning automatic bids based on their finish in conference play ... seventeen teams will be chose at-large by the selection committee who will announce the bracket on Monday evening. The first round of the Postseason WNIT will be played March 18-20, at host sites ... the championship is set for April 4 ... last season, Big East foe Marquette defeated Michigan State for the title.

    This Week in Baseball

    The West Virginia University baseball travels to Morehead State to battle the Eagles on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. … WVU then opens Big East play with a three-game series at Connecticut beginning on Friday, March 20-22.

    Last Week in Baseball

    The Mountaineers (11-5) went 4-2 overall last week, including three wins over MAAC foe Siena as well as a victory over Duquesne on Wednesday … WVU was led by senior Austin Markel, who went 11-for-22 (.500) last week to pace the Mountaineer offense … Chris Enourato earned two victories during the week, while Jarryd Summers and Billy Gross also tallied wins for WVU ... WVU outscored its opponents, 50-37, during its six games last week.

    Notes & Quotes

    WVU is tied for tenth in the country with 10.7 runs per game … the Mountaineers are also batting .396 from the plate … Summers' victory over Siena on Friday night included striking out a career-high 11 batters in eight innings pitched … Markel's 11th career triple against Duquesne ties him for second on WVU's career triples list … the Elizabethville, Pa., native trails former Mountaineer Tyler Kuhn by just five triples … right-hander Gross tossed a complete game against Siena on Sunday, nabbing his first victory of the season … sophomore Dan DiBartolomeo leads WVU with a .481 mark from the plate entering the week … Tobias Streich and Markel hold the team lead with three home runs apiece, while Streich and Vince Belnome are tied with 25 RBIs apiece.

    This Week in Gymnastics

    The No. 20 Mountaineers look to defend their sixth EAGL Conference title, as they travel to Raleigh, N.C., for the EAGL Championships on Saturday, March 21, at 3 p.m., at NC State's Reynolds Coliseum.

    Last Week in Gymnastics

    WVU (9-7 overall, 4-1 EAGL) edged No. 21 Iowa State, 194.925-194.900, on Friday, March 13, in Ames, Iowa …the Mountaineers won the vault (48.975-48.450) and the beam (48.250-47.900), while ISU took the bars (49.325- 48.925) and the fl oor (49.225-48.775) … senior Mehgan Morris finished first overall with 39.175 points … the Belle, W.Va., native tied for first on the bars (9.900) and second on the fl oor (9.850) … junior Chelsi Tabor and sophomore Amy Bieski tied for first on the vault with 9.825 points, while junior Kiersten Spoerke tied for first on the beam with 9.750 points.

    Notes and Quotes

    WVU's win was its first over a ranked opponent this season … the team finished 1-4 against ranked squads this season … the Mountaineers jumped out to the early lead, 48.925-48.450, after one rotation, and pushed their advantage to one point, 146.675-145.675, through three rotations, before the Cyclones surged on the fl oor in the fourth rotation … Spoerke's clutch performance as the anchor on the beam sealed the win for the Mountaineers … freshman Tina Maloney scored her fifth 9.800-plus vault score of the season and finished third with 9.800 points … Saturday's championship meet will be the Mountaineers' first meeting this season against conference-foes North Carolina, NC State and New Hampshire … as host of the 2008 EAGL Championships, WVU won its sixth conference title last season, edging the defending-champion Wolfpack, 196.050-195.475 … Morris looks to defend both her bars and fl oor titles … Friday's point total at ISU increased the Mountaineers' regional qualifying score (RQS) to 195.275, but the team remains ranked No. 20 for the fourth-straight week.

    This Week in Rifle

    The Mountaineers have concluded their season.

    Last Week in Rifle

    The No. 3 WVU rifle team won its 14th national title, as the Mountaineers earned a score of 4643 and finished first at the 2009 NCAA Championships on Saturday, March 14, at the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas … WVU also won the air rifle team championships, shooting 2353 on Saturday … it was that performance that sealed the win for the Mountaineers, as the team struggled in Friday's smallbore competition, finishing sixth with a score of 2290 … redshirt junior Bryant Wallizer finished second individually in air rifle with a score of 691 … Akron's Jenna Compton won the title with a score of 691.6 … additionally, sophomore Andy Lamson finished in third place with a score of 689.7, while classmate Tommy Santelli took fifth place (687.5) and freshman Michael Kulbacki's finished sixth (686.9) … Lamson paced the Mountaineers in smallbore, shooting 574 … No. 1 Kentucky, the 2009 GARC Champions, finished second with an aggregate score of 4638, while No. 2 Jacksonville State took third overall with a score of 4636, and first in smallbore with a score of 2312.

    News and Notes

    WVU remains the winningest program in NCAA history … Alaska-Fairbanks trails the Mountaineers with 10 titles … the victory is the program's first since 1998 … it is the team's highest finish since it placed third in 2001 … WVU won its first title in 1983 … Hammond becomes the fourth Mountaineer coach to guide West Virginia to the national championship; Marsha Beasley (1990-2006) won eight titles, Ed Etzel (1977-87; 1989) won four and Greg Perrine won it all in 1988 … from 1983 to 1998 WVU either won the NCAA Championship or was the national runner-up … in only his third year, Hammond has restored the glory to WVU's program, having led the team to a sixth-place finish at last year's championships … Saturday's win avenged the Mountaineers' two defeats this year to Kentucky, as UK defeated WVU shoulder-to-shoulder on Nov. 15 (4649-4639), and finished five points ahead at the conference championships (4650-4645).

    This Week in Swimming & Diving

    The swimming and diving team will send senior Lindsey Largo and juniors Kayla Andrews and Morgan Callaway to College Station, Texas, from March 19-21 to participate in the 2009 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships ... Largo will swim in the 1,650 free, while Andrews will swim the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fl y ... Callaway will be swimming in the 500 free, 200 free and 200 back.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving

    Senior Michael Walker will represent the men at the 2009 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships ... Junior diver Brandon Robinson also participated in the NCAA Zone "A" Diving Championships in which he placed 25th in he 1-meter dive and 24th in the 3-meter.

    Notes & Quotes

    "As always, the week and half waiting to find out if our ladies made the NCAA Championships is always a stressful, but fun week. We found out that Kayla, Morgan and Lindsey all qualified individually for the NCAAs and it is a great way for our women's team to end the season." - Coach Vic Riggs

    This Week in Tennis

    The West Virginia University tennis team is set for a week of travel as they venture to New Orleans for a 5 p.m., match on Wednesday, March 18 ... the Mountaineers then head to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a three-match weekend at Southern Miss ... on Friday, March 20, the Mountaineers are set to face Troy in a 6 p.m. match, followed by a 2 p.m. match against Southern Miss on Saturday, March 21, and a 9 a.m. match against Lamar on Sunday, March 22.

    Last Week in Tennis

    The Mountaineers (6-11, 2-2 Big East) went 1-2 this past weekend with losses against Idaho (3-4) and Army (2-5), and a victory over conference foe Villanova (7-0)

    This Week in Track and Field

    The Mountaineers' indoor season has now concluded … the outdoor season will begin on March 27 when WVU competes at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

    Last Week in Track and Field

    Six Mountaineers competed in the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championship held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the Texas A&M campus in College Station, Texas … Chelsea Carrier took 15th and 14th place in the pentathlon and 60-meter hurdle events, respectively … Keri Bland placed 13th in the mile event, while the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) team took tenth … Carrier and Bland did not advance to the finals. Carrier took 15th in the pentathlon with 3,823 points. The sophomore placed second in the 60-meter hurdle event, (8.36), 18th in the high jump (1.57-meters) and shot put (10.09-meters), 10th in the long jump (5.76-meters) and 10th in the 800-meter run (2:24.62) … Carrier also took 14th overall in the 60-meter preliminary event with a time of 8.52, while Bland placed 13th in the mile preliminary event with a time of 4:43.80 … the DMR team of April Rotilio, Kaylyn Christopher, Karly Hamric and Marie-Louise Asselin took 10th place with a time of 11:14.46.

    Notes & Quotes

    "This team worked hard for 18 months and I am so proud that they qualified to compete at this level. Although this wasn't our best showing, we will take this and learn from it as we prepare for our outdoor season." - Coach Sean Cleary.

    Notes and Quotes

    Junior Stephanie LaFortune led the Mountaineers over the weekend with a 2-1 record in singles play ... against Idaho LaFortune defeated Alexandra Ulesanu 6-5, 7-5, at the No. 3 spot ... she then captured her second win of the weekend with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Villanova's Carla Erskine at the No. 1 spot ... junior Olga Elkin also posted a 2-1 record over the weekend with wins over Villanova's Allison Solberg (6-3, 6-2) and Army's Sarah Giles-Madden (6-4, 6-2) at the No. 3 spot … WVU's freshmen stood out this weekend as Milica Pantovic and Veronica Cardenas all saw two wins a piece ... Pantovic played tough on Friday and Saturday as she defeated Idaho's Jana Siwa 6-1, 6-1 and Villanova's Allie Harding 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 6 spot ... Cardenas continued to surge with victories over Villanova's Emily Urda (6-0, 6-3) and Army's Kristin Beehler (6-3, 6-3) ... also capturing wins on the weekend were freshman Kathryn Haught, sophomore Ashley Pilsbury and junior Gabriela Blaskovicova ...Blaskovicova defeated Idaho's Yvette Ly, 6- 3, 7-6 (5), while Haught defeated Villanova's Courtney, Reed (6-2, 6-2) and Pilsbury took down the Wildcats' Kristin Gobberg, 6-0, 6-2. In doubles play the Mountaineers captured the point against Villanova as all three teams swept competition ... in the No.1 spot Blaskovicova and Pilsbury defeated Reed and Gobberg, 8-4, while LaFortune and Monique Burton dominated Erskine and Urda, 8-1, at the No. 2 spot ... the No. 3 duo of Elkin and Cardenas also played well, with an 8-2, victory over Solberg and Harding.

    This Week in Wrestling

    Five Mountaineers (David Jauregui at 149; Ryan Goodman at 157; Donnie Jones at 165; Kurt Brenner at 174; Dustin Rogers at 285) from the West Virginia University wrestling team will compete at the 2009 NCAA tournament on March 19-21 … the three-day event will take place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. … the first session on March 19 is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CST.

    Last Week in Wrestling

    WVU finished in second place with 95.50 points at the 34th annualeastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championships in Lock Haven, Pa. … the Mountaineers had one wrestler win a league title, two take runner-up and three take third place in their respective weight classes.

    Notes & Quotes

    Fifth-year senior Brenner (174) won his third career EWL crown when he registered a 21-6 tech fall over Pitt's Karl DeCiantis in the title match … Brenner becomes only the fifth wrestler in WVU history to win at least three league titles … Brenner had earned a first-round bye and then took a 9-3 decision against Clarion's Scott Joseph … freshman Johnston (141) and redshirt junior Jones (165) both finished second at their respective weights … Johnston, who also had a first-round bye, defeated Steve Waite, 6-2, for the second time this season, but lost to Pitt's Tyler Nauman, ranked No. 13 nationally, 4-3 … Jones defeated Cleveland State's Rob Michaels, 7-3, but lost to Edinboro's Jarrod King, ranked 13th nationally, in the title bout … fifth-year senior Jauregui (149) won his opening bout against Pitt's Mark Powell, 3-2, but lost his next match against this year's EWL Champion, Matt Fittery … Jauregui then won his next two matches (a 12-11 decision in the second tiebreaker over Edinboro's Torsten Gillespie and a 7-4 decision over Cleveland State's Antonio Nicholson) … redshirt freshman Goodman (157) and fifth-year senior Rogers (HWT) both earned third-place showings at the league tournament … Rogers earned his place by pinning Pitt's Zach Sheaffer, ranked 13th nationally, at the 1:16 mark.

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