NCAA Qualifying Match Ahead for #14 Navy Rifle
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The No. 14 Navy rifle team will close out its home schedule on Saturday morning with its 2018 NCAA Qualifying Match versus John Jay. The Mids (4-8) and Bloodhounds (4-4) will go shoulder-to-shoulder at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range beginning at 9 a.m.
Saturday's match score will count as half of the team's total in the NCAA Championship qualification process. The other half comes from an average of three matches shot previously this season at different locations. The NCAA then adds the two scores together and the top eight teams will qualify for the championship on the weekend of March 9-10. Navy comes into Saturday ranked 14th overall with a three-match average of 4,660. The University of Nevada, the current eight seed has a three-match average of 4,677.67.
In their 2017 qualifier versus the Bloodhounds, the Mids tallied 4,633 points in 4,633-4,418 victory. The Mids won both the smallbore and air rifle portions of the event. Josh Watson and Kestrel Kuhne led Navy with respective aggregate totals of 1,163 for Watson and 1,161 for Kuhne.
In smallbore, the Mids recorded a score of 2,293 on the strength of identical 576's from Watson and Kuhne. In the second half of the match, Watson and Kuhne performed at a high level again as the duo ranked second and third in Navy's lineup with scores of 587 and 585, respectively. Thomas Sarant was the Mids' top counter with a 588 effort.
Last Time Out
Navy wrapped up its 2017-18 regular season this past Sunday as one of four teams shooting at VMI’s Kilbourne Hall. Looking to replace one of its previous road scores for the NCAA Championship qualification process, the Mids were unable to hit their stride as they ended up settling for an aggregate total of 4,624. Amongst the four teams shooting at VMI, Air Force tallied a score of 4,691, Akron a 4,638 and VMI a 4,465.
Navy’s effort on Sunday was spearheaded by the duo of Luke Knollinger and Kestrel Kuhne, who recorded matching aggregate scores of 1,161. Knollinger’s two-gun total was buoyed by a team-high 578 in smallbore, while Kuhne posted the second-best smallbore and air rifle scores, respectively at 577 and 584.
The Mids shot a 2,285 in smallbore and 2,339 in air rifle. Torrance Kang was the top-scorer in air rifle for Navy with a 591, her eighth match of 588 or more points in 11 competitions this season.
Comparing the Squads
|Highest Smallbore Average||K. Kuhne, 577.1||L. Graham, 552.8|
|Smallbore Shooters w/570+ Avg.||6||0|
|Highest Air Rifle Average||T. Kang, 589.1||L. Graham, 575.0|
|Air Rifle Shooters w/580+ Avg.||5||0|
|Highest Aggregate Average||K. Kuhne, 1164.4||L. Graham, 1127.8|
|Shooters w/1150+ Agg. Avg.||6||0|
|Team Smallbore Average||2303.9||2121.7|
|Team Air Rifle Average||2345.2||2255.3|
|Team Aggregate Average||4649.1||4377.0|
|Highest Team Aggregate Score||4683,
vs. NCSU (1/21)
|4430, at MIT (2/9)|
Following Saturday's match, the Mids will begin their postseason action with two days of competition at the 2018 Great American Rifle Conference Championship on Feb. 24-25. at West Virginia University.