Feb. 3, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy rifle team begins its stretch run as it hosts the annual Star Match against Army on Saturday, beginning at 8:00 am in the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range. The Midshipmen enter the match with a 6-1 overall record, while Army is 6-3. The Mids will be looking to return the Star to Navy's side for the first time since the 2009 season.
The Black Knights outscored Navy last year at West Point's Tronsrue Marksmanship Center, 5816-5768, after winning 5770-5738 in their last trip to Annapolis, Md., in 2010 to lead 39-30 in the all-time series that began in 1940.
Navy has had two weeks to prepare for the Black Knights after three matches from Jan. 19-21. The Midshipmen lost to Alaska on Jan. 19, then swept the University of the Sciences but recorded season-low scores in the process, albeit on paper targets. Navy has shot over 4600 four times this year with a season-high score of 4618 coming against John Jay on Nov. 11. Navy's top smallbore score came on Oct. 8 with a 2292 against the University of the Sciences. The top air rifle tally was on Nov. 11 against John Jay with a 2337.
Steven Frazier paces the Mids in smallbore (573.1) while Ryan Williams follows with a 571.0 average. However, just one other shooter, Allison Paulson (568.3) averages over 560.
In air rifle, Williams paces the squad with a 584.4, which sits just outside the top-five single-season averages in school history. Paulson follows with a 578.8 and Frazier is at 577.8. Depth has been an issue all season long for Kelley, and with a five-person counting score being used this weekend, a couple of shooters will need to step up their game significantly if Navy looks to spring the upset.
The Black Knights' highest team score is a 4666 followed by a pair of 4663 performances. Army's season highs in the team scoring in smallbore and air rifle are 2335 and 2343, respectively.
Army and Navy will be meeting for the second time this season, having competed in the four-team field at the President's Trophy Match hosted by the Black Knights during the fall. Army captured the title behind a 5812 five-man team score in outpointing runner-up Air Force by 63 points with Navy taking third (5734). Navy actually finished second using a four-person NCAA counting score during the event, firing a 4607.
Army leads the series, 39-30, and has won five of the last six matches between the two teams. Navy's last win in Annapolis against the Black Knights came way back in 2004, as the Black Knights have won three straight in Annapolis against the Midshipmen by a combined 180 points.
Next weekend, the Mids will shoot against John Jay in the NCAA Qualifier on Feb. 12 in Annapolis. The NCAA Championships are on March 11-12 in Columbus, Ga.
# GO NAVY #