No. 13 Navy Drops GARC Match at No. 16 Akron
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy rifle team fell in its final competition of the 2017 calendar year by a score of 4,657-4,641 on the road at Akron on Saturday. In a Great American Rifle Conference match, the Mids (2-2, 1-2 GARC) shot within a point of their season average, but host Zips (3-3, 1-3 GARC) shot a school record on their way to the 16-point victory. Kestrel Kuhne (So., Everett, Pa.) and Thomas Sarant (Sr., Massapequa, N.Y.) led the Mids with respective aggregate scores of 1,165.
In a match that saw the two squads shoot a nearly equal score in air rifle, an eight-point margin in smallbore turned the tide in favor of the host school. Akron turned in four-counter score of 2,302 in smallbore, while Navy posted a 2,294. Torrance Kang (Fr., Columbia, Md.) and Kuhne led the Mids' effort with identical scores of 575. Of note in Kang's prone portion of the competition, the freshman shot a perfect 200-of-200 score. Josh Watson (Jr., Enterprise, Ala.) was one point off Kang and Kuhne's pace with a score of 574. Daniel Enger (Fr., Walla Walla, Wash.) was Navy's final counter with a 570-point result. As a non-starter, Sarant shot a career-best 581 in smallbore. His previous high in 2017 was 570 at Memphis on Sept. 24.
In air rifle, Akron edged Navy by eight points at 2,355-2,347. That air rifle score for the Zips was a new school record. For Navy, Kuhne matched a personal season-high with 590 points. The sophomore never shot lower than 98 in any of the six frames on the day. Kang posted the second-best air rifle score on Saturday for the Mids with a 588. Navy's counting lineup was rounded out by Enger and Sarant with respective scores of 585 and 584. As a non-starter, Luke Knollinger (Fr., Valley Grove, W.Va.) matched his career-high score with a 585.
"We have been really consistent all season with our aggregate team score and today was no exception," remarked head coach Mike Anti. "Individually, we have been a bit more inconsistent and that is something we need to work on. With that being said, we had some outstanding individual scores today. Our team captain, Tom Sarant led the smallbore match with a very good 581. We also got solid performances from Kestrel Kuhne and Torrance Kang.
"We have to congratulate Akron, they had a great day setting a new school record in air rifle and total score."
Navy's 4,641 aggregate score is its best road total of the season, surpassing a 4,640 at Kentucky and 4,634 at Memphis.
Sarant's 1,165 aggregate is a new career-high for the senior. Through the first 43 matches of his career prior to Saturday, his best was 1,164.
The Mids will now take a two-month sabbatical from NCAA competition for end of the semester exams and the holiday season. Navy will pick up its 2017-18 schedule in January with a home two-match weekend set of matches versus GARC rivals Nebraska (Jan. 19) and North Carolina State (Jan. 21).