Feb. 6, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army rifle team has a challenging slate this weekend as the Black Knights look to close out their Great America Rifle Conference schedule on a winning note hosting North Carolina State on Friday at 3 p.m. and Nebraska, Sunday, 9 a.m., at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center.
The Black Knights (4-4, 2-3 GARC) edged newest GARC member Navy on the road, 4640-4636, last week in the NCAA four-man format after besting the Midshipmen 5800-5783 in the five-man scoring used in service-academy matches. Army's domination in smallbore proved the difference as Navy won air rifle.
The Black Knights are ranked sixth in the latest Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association poll, Nebraska lists fifth and North Carolina State is 15th.
Army senior All-American Michael Matthews took first-place honors in smallbore with a 584 in the Navy win en route to claiming medalist honors for the fifth time this season. Team captain Joseph Todaro authored Army's top score in air rifle (585) and was also among the Black Knight leaders in smallbore.
While North Carolina State (0-5 GARC) is looking for its first GARC win of the season, Nebraska heads into its conference meets 3-2 with its losses against the No. 1 (West Virginia) and No. 2 (Kentucky) teams in the country. The Cornhuskers' wins were against Ole Miss, Memphis and Navy, while their team best score of 4685 this season was fired against Air Force. The Cornhuskers bring a 4666.33 average into the weekend matches.
NC State is coming off a bye week following its first-place performance at The Citadel Invitational (4597 points) in its last outing, while Nebraska fell 4680-4659 to Kentucky last weekend.
Army, with a 4663.67 average, turned in its best performances this season against the top-ranked teams in the nation in West Virginia and Kentucky, who also happen to be members of the GARC. Though coming up short in the win column, the Black Knights' team high 4669 was fired against West Virginia, along with a season-best 2325 in smallbore, while their 2352 mark in air rifle was recorded against Kentucky.
All three schools close out GARC competition this weekend as Nebraska and North Carolina State compete at Army's Range Saturday.
Fans unable to attend either match will be able to follow the action through live stats available on Army's website at www.goARMYsports.com. The link is accessible by navigating to the top of the rifle page where you can find the link for live scoring.
Next up for Army is the NCAA Qualifier against USP and SUNY-Maritime on Feb. 22 in the regular-season and home finale as the Black Knights look to earn their 11th straight NCAA bid.