Two Road GARC Matchups For Navy Rifle This Weekend
Sophomore Jodi Cull-Host
Feb. 7, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy rifle team will look to get back to its winning ways and continue its push for an NCAA Tournament bid this weekend with a pair of important conference road matches. On Saturday, Feb. 7, the No. 13 Mids will travel to Oxford, Miss. for a matchup versus the No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels before heading north to Memphis to take on the No. 9 University of Memphis Tigers on Sunday. Both competitions will begin locally at 8 a.m. CT.
As a first-year member of the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC), Navy is quite inexperienced with its two opponents this weekend and has a combined 0-1 all-time record versus the two. Last season in Annapolis, Ole Miss defeated Navy by five points, 4,622-4,617.
Last Time Out
The Navy rifle team put together a strong home performance last Saturday, Feb. 1 in its annual Star match versus Army, but came up just short as the Black Knights held off the Midshipmen by 17 points at 5,800 to 5,783. Scoring on a five-shooter lineup, Navy registered its highest point total in like competitions since the 2006 Star match.
For NCAA scoring purposes, where four of the top five scores are counted, Navy shot a 2,297 in smallbore and a season-high 2,339 in air rifle for a 4,636 aggregate score, just four points shy of Army's 4,640. The Mids' aggregate was the highest since the 2011 MAC Championships where they shot a 4,659 versus Akron.
Zach Gibson posted the highest combined score for Navy with 582-point efforts in both smallbore and air rifle on his way to a 1,164 total.
In the air rifle portion of the event, all five Mids registered scores in the 580's as Dan Jonas and Alex Berry shared the top spot amongst all shooters with identical 586-point totals. Berry's score was a career-high, while Jonas tied his career-high with that effort.
The No. 9 team in the most recent CRCA rankings, the Tigers are coming off a 4,646-4,645 setback to Ole Miss at home on Wednesday. Although Memphis is 2-4 on the season in head-to-head matches, the Tigers have yet to post a score lower than 4,628.
Prior to Wednesday's meeting with Ole Miss, Memphis recorded an upset victory over then No. 4 Jacksonville State on Feb. 2 behind a program record score of 4,668. In that match, Amy Fister took medalist honors in smallbore with a 584 score, while Elizabeth Lee and Dan Hermsmeier were the top scorers in air rifle at 593.
Ole Miss comes into Sunday as the 12th ranked program in the nation and off an upset of Memphis on Wednesday. The Rebels defeated the Tigers by posting a season-best 4,646 points. Leaders for Ole Miss on Wednesday included Melissa Quartarone's 585 score in smallbore and Alison Weisz' 594 in air rifle.
On the year, Quartarone has posted Ole Miss' highest aggregate average at 1,159 (575 smallbore / 584 air rifle). Overall, five Rebels have air rifle averages in the 580s, while two have smallbore averages in the 570s.
Navy (2013/14 Season - Stats through 10 Competitions)
Highest Smallbore Average - Zach Gibson, 571.5
Highest Air Rifle Average - Jodi Cull-Host, 581.4
Highest Aggregate Average - Zach Gibson, 1,152.6
Team Smallbore - 2,314, at Uni. Of Sciences (1/17/14)
Team Air Rifle - 2,339, vs. Army (2/1/14)
Team Aggregate - 4,636, vs. Army (2/1/14)
Ole Miss (2013/14 Season - Stats through 10 Competitions)
Highest Smallbore Average - Melissa Quartarone, 575
Highest Air Rifle Average - Alison Weisz, 584.6
Highest Aggregate Average - Melissa Quartarone, 1,159
Team Smallbore - 2,295, at Memphis (2/5/14)
Team Air Rifle - 2,352, vs. Akron (11/3/13)
Team Aggregate - 4,646, at Memphis (2/5/14)
Memphis (2013/14 Season - Stats through 9 Competitions)
Team Smallbore - 2,327, at Jacksonville State (2/2/14)
Team Air Rifle - 2,341, 2x, most recently at Jacksonville State (2/2/14)
Team Aggregate - 4,668, at Jacksonville State (2/2/14)
Quoting the Coach
Coach Kelley on this weekend's matchup ...
"I'm very pleased with how the team has responded in practice this week coming off of a tough defeat to our rivals Army last weekend. The outcome of the match was unfortunate, but I was impressed with the effort that they showed that day and now this week as we focus on Ole Miss and Memphis. It really reflects the positive and professional attitude of this team."
"We are up against two strong opponents this weekend, who are both ranked ahead of us in the polls. Considering we came within four points of knocking off the then number five team [Army], I believe that if we're at our best, the margin between us and the teams ahead is very slim."