Sharpshooters Head To Bluegrass State For First Road Test

Alex Rivera set a career high in smallbore against Memphis

Alex Rivera set a career high in smallbore against Memphis

Oct. 18, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's rifle team makes its first road trip of the young season when the Black Knights head to Lexington, Ky., for a pair of matches at UK's Barker Hall, firing against Murray State Saturday and host Kentucky Sunday.

There will be live stats at the meet and fans can follow the scoring by logging onto Army's official athletics website and navigating to the rifle schedule page. In-game Twitter updates will be offered as well via the official handle of rifle (@Army_Rifle).

The No. 4-ranked Black Knights moved up in the latest Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) rankings following their 4658-4631 victory over GARC (Great America Rifle Conference) rival Memphis on Monday that leveled their overall and conference mark at 1-1.

Five Black Knights set personal bests in the win with junior Michael Matthews earning medalist honors in both events, to include a career-high 592 in air rifle. Matthews fired a 583 leading an Army sweep of the top three places in smallbore as the Black Knights took six of the top seven places in outpointing the Tigers by 30 points, 2318-2288. Memphis, however, edged the Black Knights by three points (2343-2340) in air rifle.

Kentucky, also a member of the GARC, opened its season with a 4666-4643 win over conference rival Nebraska last week. The No. 3-ranked Wildcats swept both disciplines, but their 2310 composite in smallbore is eight points shy of Army's 2318 season-high. Kentucky's 2356 air rifle score is 16 points higher than the Black Knights' highest mark of the season.

Army and Kentucky ranked among the nation's leaders in smallbore last year. The Wildcats captured the 2012 NCAA title in that discipline after edging the Black Knights by three points (2328-2325). Individually, Matthews fired a 589 to finish second in the relay scoring after losing out on center shots to TCU's Sarah Scherer, who he finished runner-up to in the finals. In the overall scoring at the NCAAs, the Wildcats were runner-up and Army was fourth.

Prior to the NCAA Championships, Army captured the smallbore title at the GARC Championships with a 2318 in outscoring runner-up West Virginia by three points and third-place Kentucky by five points. The Wildcats finished second in the team scoring and Army finished fifth.

Army will be in the hunt Sunday for its first win over Kentucky since a 4671-4632 decision in 2007-08 when the Black Knights went 10-1 overall and 6-0 in the GARC to capture the regular-season title.

Army swept both events last year in its 4666-4636 defeat of Murray State on the home front, but fell to the Racers (4654-4622) two years ago at Barker Hall. Murray State defeated Army 2348-2315 in air rifle following a one-point loss in smallbore.

Army closes out its fall slate the first weekend of November (3-4) when it heads to Colorado Springs, Colo., to defend its President's Trophy title. The Black Knights join host Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard Academy. In the latest CRCA poll, the Falcons list 11th and the Midshipmen are ranked 12th.

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