Rifle Returns To Action With Pair Of Home Matches This Weekend

Olivia Nardone

Olivia Nardone

Jan. 16, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's rifle team opens the winter portion of its schedule with a pair of home matches at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center this weekend. The Black Knights, ranked No. 8 in the latest Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA), face a stern test hosting No. 11 Murray State Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 1 Kentucky Sunday at 9 a.m.

Fans unable to attend either match will be able to follow the action through live stats available on Army's website at www.goARMYsports.com. The link is accessible by navigating to the rifle schedule page. Twitter updates will also be provided via the official handle of Army rifle (@Army_Rifle).

The Black Knights had their share of ups and downs in the fall slate posting a 2-3 mark and 1-2 showing in the Great America Rifle Conference. Army suffered a 4655-4645 road loss to Ohio State in its last outing two months ago.

During the fall, Army's top composite score of 4669 was fired against NCAA defending champion West Virginia (currently ranked third), to include a 2325 mark in smallbore, while its highest score in air rifle (2349) was posted at the President's Trophy Match.

The Black Knights' seniors have accounted for the top scores on the squad, and will look to set the pace in getting Army off to a strong start in 2014 in its bid to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships for the 11th straight year.

Senior All-American Joseph Todaro fired the highest mark this season in smallbore (586) and classamate and All-American Michael Todaro owns the top score in air rifle (589), along with the second highest in smallbore (584).

Senior All-American Richard Calvin shares the second-best air rifle mark of 588 with freshman Allen Solida, with sophomore Olivia Nardone ranking among the leaders in that discipline with a 587 and classmate Alyssa Gestl close behind (586).

Murray State marked its return to action in over a month by sweeping a triangular match with Columbus State and North Carolina State last week. The Racers scored 4632 points, which was below their season-best 4658. Murray State's strength lies with its air rifle team where All-American Emma Kelsey and freshman Katarina Biseric have posted season highs of 593.

Following Friday's meet with the Racers, Army turns its attention to GARC rival Kentucky, runner-up at the conference championships and NCAA Championships last year. The Wildcats are coming off a 4688-4623 road win over No. 9 Ohio State last weekend.

Kentucky's top score of 4693 was recorded twice this year in wins over Memphis and Navy. Leading the way for the Wildcats are All-Americans Connor Davis and Emily Holsopple. Davis's top score of 585 in smallbore was recorded twice this season, while his mark of 595 in air rifle was fired four times en route to compiling a 594.1 average. Holsopple has authored the top scores in smallbore of 587 and 586, while averaging a 589.8 average in air rifle where her best mark is a 594.

Kentucky, who suffered back-to-back losses to perennial power Alaska in the fall, is 6-2 overall and unbeaten in the GARC (3-0).

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