Oct. 26, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy rifle team will hit the road to take on No. 1 West Virginia this Saturday in Morgantown, W.V. The match will be the first of three consecutive road contests for Navy this fall.
The Mountaineers (4-0) are ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Poll for the third consecutive week, while the Midshipmen are currently No. 12 in the nation.
"West Virginia is loaded with international talent and it will be quite a challenge for us to step on the line with them," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley.
Saturday's match with WVU will be the first for Navy (1-0) since Oct. 13 when it defeated the University of the Sciences, 4623-4334, in Annapolis. Captain Ryan Williams is leading in air rifle with a 587.7 average as he has hit the 589 mark twice this season. Junior Steven Frazier is the team leader in smallbore with a 577.3 average. His season-high score of 579 in the discipline came at the MAC Tournament.
Navy has received significant contributions from its rookies and the group will need to continue to improve over the next few weeks. Jodi Cull-Host and Zach Gibson have been two of Navy's scorers in all three meets and Shawn Cleary has also been a contributor in air rifle.
Kelley has been impressed with his the mindset of his young team heading into this weekend.
"The attitude is that we're preparing to do the very best we can," said Kelley. "We have a very positive attitude and want to meet the challenge. We knew that it's a daunting challenge but we're going to go after it."
After this weekend's match, Navy will next compete for the President's Trophy at Air Force (Nov. 3-4) and then end the fall slate at Kentucky on Nov. 10.
"Three consecutive road weekends against excellent competition can be tough, but it's a challenge we're up for," said Kelley.