No. 13 Navy Rifle Edged by No. 8 Ole Miss in GARC Contest
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy’s hot start to the second half of its 2017-18 season continued on Sunday as the Mids posted their fourth straight match score of 4,655 or higher. Buoyed by a strong effort in smallbore, the host Mids (3-5, 2-5 GARC) put themselves in good position at halfway mark, but down the stretch of their competition they were overtaken by the eighth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels (6-5, 5-3 GARC) by two points, 4,659-4,657.
“We had a good day on the range, which makes a two-point loss even harder to accept,” remarked Navy head coach Mike Anti. “The team shot a very solid smallbore score to give us a lead going into air. We struggled a bit in air, but still had some bright spots.”
Navy’s freshman class led the way on Sunday as Torrance Kang (Columbia, Md.), Luke Knollinger (Valley Grove, W.Va.) and Daniel Enger (Walla Walla, Wash.) went 1-2-3 in the aggregate scoring standings. Kang ranked first amongst the 16 shooters at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range with a two-gun total of 1,169 points courtesy of a 577 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle. Knollinger recorded a career-high with 1,165 points, while Enger tallied 1,164 points.
The Mids’ smallbore lineup started the day off fast with 2,313 points. A stellar performance by Knollinger spearheaded Navy in the three-position shoot with a career-high 581 points. Prior to this morning, the freshman’s best score was a 574. Kestrel Kuhne (So., Everett, Pa.) ranked second for the Mids at 580 before Kang and Enger and rounded out the scoring lineup with respective marks of 577 and 575. Navy's effort spotted the home team a six-point lead over the Rebels, 2,313-2,307.
In the second half of the match, Ole Miss came from behind with 2,352 points versus 2,344 by Navy. Kang was the top scorer for the Mids in air rifle with 592 points, the second highest total of her young career. Through her first nine matches, Kang has scored 589 or more points in air rifle six times. Enger placed second in Navy’s lineup with 589 points. Thomas Sarant (Sr., Massapequa, N.Y.) and Kuhne notched 582 and 581 points to close it out for the Mids. As a non-starter, Knollinger recorded 584 points in air rifle.
“We have a few things to work on, but I am confident that our athletes will put in the work needed to be successful,” said Anti.
Navy’s final total of 4,657 is the program’s second highest score of 2017-18. Since picking up their schedule after a two-month break on Jan. 19, the Mids have scored 4,655 points versus Nebraska, 4,683 against North Carolina State, 4,656 at West Virginia and 4,657 today.
Navy will now turn its attention to rivalry action versus Army next Saturday, Feb. 3. The 2018 Star Match will go off at 9 a.m. at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.