WVU Varsity Sports Report

Rifle junior Brandi Eskew has been named WVU Athlete of the Week for her record-setting performance in the No. 1-ranked Mountaineers' 4691-4642 win over No. 2-ranked Kentucky on Nov. 21.

The Petersburg, W.Va., native finished first in smallbore with a personal-best score of 586. Her score was comprised of a school-record 200 prone, 194 standing and 192 kneeling. WVU defeated UK in smallbore, 2333-2294; the score is a school record.

Additionally, the Mountaineers' combined score is a school-best and believed to be the highest collegiate aggregate total.

Eskew ended her day shooting a season-best 586 air rifle to finish eighth overall. Her combined total of 1172 was good enough for second place overall.

Special Notes of the Week

  • The WVU gymnastics team earned a preseason rank of No. 21 in the 2010 Women's GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll. The ranking is four spots better than the Mountaineers' 2009 season-ending mark of No. 25.

  • WVU junior middle blocker Lauren Evans earned all-Big East second team volleyball honors, announced Nov. 19 at the conference volleyball championship banquet.

    This Week in Cross Country

    The No. 7 West Virginia University cross country team is set to race at the 2009 NCAA Women's Division I Championship on Monday, Nov. 23, at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. … race time is set for 12:58 p.m. … for the first time ever, the NCAA Cross Country Championships will be nationally televised on Versus Network.

    Last Week in Cross Country

    The Mountaineers took fifth place at the 2009 ECAC Championship at Van Cortlandt Park, in Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 21 … the Mountaineers finished with 128 points behind Boston College (54), William & Mary (60), James Madison (116) and Stony Brook (116).

    Notes and Quotes

    Junior Jessica O'Connell was the first Mountaineer to cross the line, as she finished in ninth place with a time of 17:37, while senior Karly Hamric finished 15th with a time of 17:50 … for their efforts, both were named to the all-East team … also racing well was Maria Dalzot, as she finished 22nd (18:00.2) ... Hallie Portner finished 40th (18:18.9) and Aubrey Moskal finished 43rd (18:25.2).

    This Week in Women's Basketball

    West Virginia (2-1) hits the road for a non-conference game at Duquesne on Nov. 24, at 7 p.m., at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. … following the contest, the Mountaineers travel to Reno, Nev., to compete in the Nugget Classic Nov. 27-28, on the campus of the University of Nevada … on Friday, WVU takes on Iowa at 7 p.m. and will either play Nevada or Columbia in consolation or championship round action at either 8 or 10 p.m., respectively, the following day.

    Last Week in Women's Basketball

    WVU went 1-1 last week, defeating Marist in Preseason WNIT second-round action on Nov. 16 and falling at Ohio State in semifinal action on Nov. 19 … in the Marist win, WVU extended its lead to eight at 50-42 on a jump shot from Liz Repella with three minutes left in the contest … Marist would get no closer than four points the rest of the way … WVU limited Marist to just 15-64 shooting for the game (23.4 percent), including 5-27 from 3-point range, and out-rebounded the Red Foxes 49-46 … WVU led 22-17 at the break, holding Marist to just 6-34 from the field, including 1-16 from the 3-point line … at OSU, the Buckeyes raced out to a 17-2 advantage with 14:31 left in the first half and never looked back, which included a 17-0 run to start the game before a Vanessa House layup at 15:37 gave WVU its first points of the contest … the Buckeyes extended their lead to 23-7 by the second media timeout but West Virginia cut the lead to 27-17 with 6:50 left in the first half on the strength of Repella's first half 3-point shooting … for the game, Ohio State shot 60.3 percent from the field (35-58) and out-rebounded WVU 39-36.

    Notes and Quotes

    Repella and Miles made their team-leading consecutive 34th career starts against Towson … Repella notched her team-leading 34th 10-point game of her career … WVU improved to 44-3 all-time in non-conference home games under Mike Carey … WVU is now 22-15 all-time in season-openers and 7-2 under Carey.

    This Week in Rifle

    No. 1-ranked WVU has concluded the first half of its season … the team will resume regular-season action on Jan. 17 and play host to NC State at 8 a.m. at the WVU Rifle Range.

    Last Week in Rifle

    WVU (6-0, 3-0 GARC) shot a school-record aggregate score and toppled No. 2-ranked and conference foe Kentucky, 4691-4642, Nov. 21, at the WVU Rifle Range … the team triumphed over UK in smallbore, 2333-2294, and air rifle, 2358-2348 … junior Brandi Eskew shot a personal-best 586 smallbore, one short of the individual school record, to pace WVU … Eskew's total was comprised of a school-record 200 prone, 194 standing and 192 kneeling … classmates Kyle Smith, Andy Lamson and Tommy Santelli combined with Eskew for the Mountaineer smallbore score and respectively finished second, third and fourth … Smith shot a season-best 584, while Lamson shot 582 and Santelli totaled a season-best 581 … Lamson shot 591 air rifle to pace WVU and finish second overall … sophomore Michael Kulbacki finished third overall with a score of 590, while Santelli shot a season-best 589 and finished in fifth place … senior Bryant Wallizer finished in sixth place with a score of 588, and Eskew shot a season-best 586 to finish eighth … Lamson finished first overall with a combined score of 1173 … Eskew finished second with a combined score of 1172, while Santelli finished third with a score of 1170 … both scores are season-best marks.

    Notes and Quotes

    WVU's team score is believed to be the highest collegiate aggregate total since the NCAA implemented a 60-shot course at the onset of the 2004-05 season … the total is 14 shots better than WVU's previous school record of 4677, set last year … WVU's smallbore score is a school record, while their air rifle total is one shot short of matching the school record … the smallbore score improved on the old record by 14 shots (2319) … WVU remains undefeated in both disciplines … with the win, WVU improved its series edge over the Wildcats to 14-7, and avenged its lone 2008-09 regular season loss.

    This Week in Swimming & Diving

    The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams will train for the Ohio State Invitational, held Dec. 5-7, in Columbus, Ohio.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving

    This past Thursday and Friday, the diving teams traveled to College Park, Md., to dive in the Terrapin Cup Invitational … for the women, senior Ashley Malik placed fifth on the 1-meter board, while placing ninth on the 3-meter … senior Bethaney Perna placed 20th on the 1-meter and 16th on the 3-meter … sophomore Matt O'Neill and senior Brandon Robinson led the men with a third- and fifth-place finishes on the 1-meter board, respectively … on the 3-meter, Robinson placed fifth, while O'Neill came in seventh place.

    Notes and Quotes

    "I'm very pleased with all of the diving performances. Ashley, Brandon and Matt placed very well in tough competition and Bethaney, Brian and Ethan experienced their first big invitational and handled it very well." - diving coach Liza Marianni

    This Week in Wrestling

    The Mountaineers are off until Dec. 4-5, when they will wrestle at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational … the two-day event will take place in Primm, Nev.

    Last Week in Wrestling

    WVU opened its dual season on Nov. 22 at the ‘Sprawl & Brawl' duals … the Mountaineers fell in their first match to Wyoming, 19-18 … WVU then lost its second dual, 23-15, to No. 23 Illinois … the non-dual starters competed at the Navy Classic on Nov. 21.

    Notes and Quotes

    Three wrestlers – sophomore Colin Johnston (133), redshirt senior Chance Litton (174) and junior Brandon Williamson (HWT) – went 2-0 in dual-meet competition … Johnston notched WVU's first team points in each dual meet … he pinned Illinois' Daryl Thomas in 4:59 … Litton, ranked No. 20 at his weight class, defeated Illinois' Jordan Blanton, ranked No. 7 nationally, 11-8 … Litton has seven takedowns after two matches this season … Williamson tallied four takedowns in two matches … one of his wins came via fall over Wyoming's Mathew McLaughlan in 1:59 … redshirt senior Donnie Jones, ranked No. 13 at 165 pounds, registered a 3-2 decision over 16th-ranked Shane Onufer of Wyoming … freshman Anthony Curcio (125) and sophomore Trey Ayala (141) competed in the first dual meets of their career … Williamson's two matches also were the first of his career.

    "Brandon has done a really good job of coming in. He brings a great work ethic and holds himself to a really high standard. He's making the most out of his opportunity to compete at this level. He's getting better on a daily basis. I think the most impressive thing is how he approaches the matches and really gets himself prepared to wrestle at a very high level." - assistant coach Greg Jones

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