Jan. 18, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – As both programs posted season highs, the University of Kentucky rifle team used a 4700 to best Murray State’s 4661 Saturday in West Point, N.Y., and come away with second consecutive win to open the spring.
“I thought they did well and worked really hard,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “ We put ourselves in a couple situations we had to work out of but overall the work ethic was definitely there and if we continue to work at this pace then we will hopefully see this kind of number again.”
Led by four Wildcats shooting a 200 in prone, UK jumped out to a 30-point lead after smallbore, as the Wildcats posted a 2336 to the Racers’ 2306.
Senior Emily Holsopple paced Kentucky with a season best in smallbore, shooting a 590, the first Wildcat to break 590 this season. Sophomore Connor Davis followed Holsopple with a personal season best of his own in smallbore, delivering a 588.
Kentucky added it on in air rifle, shooting a 2364 to round out the afternoon as Murray State finished air rifle with a 2355.
“Murray shot a season high so they also had a good match all around,” Mullins said. “Playing a quality program like them, you know you have to push to that extra level to try to make sure you find all the points you can get.”
All five Kentucky counters shot a 588 or better in air rifle, as Emily Holsopple led the way with a 593, the second time she has shot the highest air rifle score this year. Sophomore Elijah Ellis shot a 592 in air rifle to mark his third consecutive match above 590.
Davis wrapped up air rifle with a 590, while Kirby and May shot a 589 and 588, respectively.
Individually, junior Jonathan Pinkel delivered personal bests in smallbore, air rifle and individual aggregate. The junior shot a 587 in smallbore, followed by 593 in air rifle to bring his individual aggregate to 1180.
Also as an individual, junior Cody Manning put forth personal bests in smallbore and individual aggregate. Manning’s 578 smallbore was followed by a 588 in air rifle, bringing the aggregate to 1166.
“Putting up this kind of number is nice but I think the team knows they have a little more left in them to gain a few more points,” Mullins said. “You’re always looking for those extra points and I know this team is going to continue to push themselves to continue to strive for those extra points.”
Kentucky will return to action tomorrow to face Army at 9 a.m. ET. The Black Knights shot a 4668 on Friday to defeat Murray State.