Army Ranked Among Leaders In CRCA Preseason Poll

Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews

Sept. 11, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. -

The Army rifle team heads into its 14th season under head coach Ron Wigger ranked fifth in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Top 20 preseason poll. The Black Knights, boasting three All-Americans on their roster, finished ahead of Air Force (No. 7) and Navy (No. 14).

Last March, Army earned its 10th straight bid to the NCAA Tournament where the Black Knights finished sixth among the eight qualifying teams. West Virginia captured the title, its 15th, followed by Kentucky, TCU and Alaska Fairbanks in rounding out the top four teams. Air Force placed fifth followed by Army, Nebraska and Jacksonville State.

The Black Knights were among four teams (West Virginia, Kentucky and Nebraska) from the Great America Rifle Conference to earn a bid to last year's NCAA Tournament.

In the latest CRCA coaches' poll, defending NCAA champion West Virginia earned the preseason No. 1 ranking with the Mountaineers garnering 12 of 16 first-place votes. Kentucky earned three votes and Alaska Fairbanks received one in placing second and third, respectively. Rounding out the fourth through 10th spots were TCU, Army, Nebraska, Air Force, Jacksonville State and Murray State.

Four members of Army's 2013 NCAA contingent return in seniors Richard Calvin, Michael Matthews, Joseph Todaro, along with sophomore Alyssa Gestl. The unit will provide leadership in 2013-14 as Army looks to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight year and improve upon last year's placing.

The Black Knights open the season the first weekend in October on the road with a pair of GARC matches against Ole Miss (Oct. 5) and Memphis (Oct. 6) . Army, hosting seven of 12 dual matches at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center, makes its home debut against Coast Guard on Oct. 19.

CRCA Preseason Poll (first-place votes)

1. West Virginia (12)
2. Kentucky (3)
3. Alaska (1)
4. TCU
5. ARMY
6. Nebraska
7. Air Force
8. Jacksonville State
9. Murray State
10. Ohio State
11. Mississippi
12. Memphis
13. Nevada
14. Navy
15. North Carolina State
16. Akron
17. Columbus State
18. UTEP
19. Tennessee-Martin
20. Morehead State
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