FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Nanooks rifle team posted its best score of the season Saturday at the E.F. Horton Range in the Patty Center.
Only problem was West Virginia almost equaled the NCAA record score it posted a week ago.
The Mountaineers rattled off a score of 4,719 to beat the Nanooks (4,670) by 49 points.
“I left five points on the table by the way I chose teams,” Alaska coach Dan Jordan said Saturday night. “Not that it would have made a difference today, but it tells me we’ve got depth on this team.”
Jordan said the Nanooks’ performance Saturday showed a positive trend since the beginning of the season.
“Even though we didn’t win, every match we have shown improvement and the ultimate goal is the NCAA championships,” he said. “I’ve got six or seven who are shooting well and improving at the same speed.
“It makes it hard for me to pick teams, but it’s nice to have that kind of depth,” he added.
West Virginia shot a 2,343 in smallbore and 2,376 in air rifle for its 4,719 total. Italian Petra Zublasing led the Mountaineers with a 497 air rifle and tied teammate Meelis Kiisk in smallbore with a 588. All of West Virginia’s air rifle shooters posted scores of 590 or better.
The Nanooks put up a 2,320 in smallbore and 2,350 in air rifle.
Ryan Anderson led the Nanooks with a 586 smallbore score, followed by Mike Liuzza with a 581, Cole Bures with a 578, Soren Butler with a 575 and Tim Sherry with a 570.
Anderson and Sherry posted scores of 589 in air rifle, while Liuzza notched a 588. Mats Eriksson and Anna Hjelmevoll rounded out the Nanooks with a 584 and 571 scores, respectively.
The two teams will shoot again today in the Patty Center.
The smallbore portion of the match will be shot in the E.F. Horton Range, while the air rifle match will be shot in the main gym in the afternoon.
The air rifle match will feature a 10-shot final followed by a “Guts” match, where Jordan will be interacting with fans and describing the intricacies of rifle shooting.
The public is invited to attend.
Following the competition the Nanooks will interact with the fans, who will be able to take a few shots with the air rifles.