Feb. 1, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The 15th-ranked Navy rifle team will face perhaps its most challenging weekend of competition this season, as it will take on both No. 5 Army and No. 10 Ole Miss. Army and Navy will meet in the annual Star Match on Saturday at West Point at 9 a.m. The Mids will return home on Sunday to face Ole Miss at 2 p.m. at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.
"We're looking forward to this weekend because it's a key to us in reaching our goals," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley. "If we can perform well against Army and Ole Miss, it will put us in a good position for the end of the season.
"We have had a great last two weeks of practice. It has been extremely competitive and everyone has had a great attitude. We're looking forward to the challenge of taking on Army. I think we have a different attitude this season in looking forward to this match."
The Midshipmen are 3-2 this season and are coming off a pair of wins over University of the Sciences, Jan. 18-19. The Mids posted their highest smallbore score of the season, 2301, in their last match against University of the Sciences, while their top air rifle score of 2341 also came against the Devils on Oct. 13.
Navy has shot over 4600 on six occasions this season, with its top score of 4623 coming on Oct. 13. Army's top score of 4675 came last weekend against Ole Miss and Jacksonville State.
In the only previous meeting between Army and Navy this season at the President's Trophy, Nov. 3-4, the Black Knights topped the Mids for second place, 5790-5719, in the five-person match.
Leading Navy this season has been senior captain Ryan Williams and junior Steven Frazier. Williams is tops on the team in air rifle average (585), while Frazier has the highest smallbore average (577.9).
Army, which is 6-3 on the season, has won the last three Star Matches and leads the all-time series, 40-30. Last season in Annapolis, the Black Knights downed Navy, 5835-5690.
Ole Miss will enter Sunday's dual with the Midshipmen at 2-4 on the season.
"We're in the same situation in that we're both trying to qualify for the NCAA Championship," said Kelly. "We know what's in front of us and we know what we need to do."