Jan. 10, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky rifle team will open the spring season on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET, traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to face the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
“It’s always exciting coming back after the break,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “We’ve been working hard and I’m looking forward to the challenge that Ohio State presents this weekend.”
Senior Emily Holsopple, sophomore Connor Davis and freshmen Heather Kirby and Sonya May will be counters in both events, while senior Aaron Holsopple will be a counter in smallbore and junior Jonathan Pinkel in air rifle.
The Wildcats posted a 5-2 record during the fall, with their only two losses coming on the road to top-ranked Alaska-Fairbanks to close out the fall. UK topped out with a 4694 in the fall, while averaging an aggregate of 4687.86 throughout the seven matches.
Emily Holsopple led Kentucky in smallbore over the course of the fall, averaging a 585.3 in the event. Davis boasts the best air rifle average to this point, averaging 594.3 in seven matches.
Saturday’s match will be the first of the spring for the Buckeyes, after wrapping up the fall with a 4663-4646 loss to No. 5 Nebraska. Throughout the fall, Ohio State recorded three highest scores in program history, while averaging 4649.67 each time out.
“Ohio State is definitely a strong program. I think they’re right there on the edge of making it to the NCAA Championships,” Mullins said. “They’re pushing hard for the championships. They have some solid shooters and I think it will be a close match. It’s always hard facing a tough team coming out of the break and I think this is a good team.”
Live scoring of the match can be found on ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
“Training camp has definitely been a lot of work but I think we learned a little bit about each other,” Mullins said. “We were definitely having a little bit of fun along with putting in a lot of hard work and I think that was the intent of camp. Hopefully what we’ll take from it will be prepare us for the upcoming season because now it’s pretty much every weekend.
“There isn’t any downtime; if we trip and fall we have to get back up. It’s kind of like running a marathon, once we get to the end of it we don’t really have a lot of latitude to move around, you half to shake things off and keep moving.”