Feb. 14, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army's sixth-ranked rifle team has a stern test Saturday morning at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center as the Black Knights host their NCAA Qualifying Match against the University of the Sciences and SUNY-Maritime in wrapping up their regular-season schedule.
Army is 8-3 heading into that match, and a pair of wins would be its highest win total in five years as it looks to send out its two seniors, William Mengon and Chris Malachosky, on a winning note.
The Black Knights will be looking to fire their best scores of the season as the Qualifier is the final denominator in their bid to meet the standard for an NCAA bid for the 10th straight year.
Saturday's match will count as half of the total in the final qualification process in determining the eight-team field for the NCAA Championships being hosted by Columbus State (March 8-9). The other half comes from a three-scoring qualifying average of matches shot at different venues.
Army held the fifth spot the last few weeks in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) poll, but fell in this week's final regular-season standings when Jacksvonville State moved up two spots to No. 4 in dropping Alaska Fairbanks into the No. 5 spot.
The Black Knights' three losses this season were to No. 1 West Virginia, No. 3 Kentucky, members of the Great America Rifle Conference along with Army, and No. 5 Jacksonville State. Army tied the school mark in air rifle (2357) and posted a season-high 4675 in the combined scoring in its one-point heartbreaking loss to the Gamecocks in late January.
The Black Knights swept Nebraska in both disciplines last week en route to a 4645-4631 defeat of the No. 8 Huskers that clinched third-place (4-2) in the GARC's regular-season standings.
Juniors Richard Calvin and Michael Matthews led the way in air rifle and smallbore, respectively. Calvin earned medalist honors with a 590 and Matthews tied for second-place in smallbore (583) as Army outshot Nebraska by six points in air rifle and eight in smallbore.
Fans unable to make the trek to West Point will be able to follow the match through live stats available on Army's website at www.goARMYsports.com. The link is accessible by navigating to the rifle schedule page. Twitter updates will also be provided via the official handle of Army rifle (@Army_Rifle).