Big Weekend Ahead For No. 3 Ole Miss Rifle
OXFORD, Miss. – No. 3 Ole Miss rifle looks to cap off its record-breaking regular season on Saturday with a share of the Great America Rifle Conference title and an NCAA Championship berth on the line.
The eight teams that will advance to the NCAA Rifle Championships in March will be decided over the weekend. Half of NCAA qualification is determined by the top-three scores fired at three separate locations averaged together, with the other half consisting of the score tallied at a team’s NCAA Qualifier match.
The Rebels will host Jacksonville State at the Patricia C. Lamar National Readiness Center in their qualifier match. Hoping to cement its NCAA average for the selection committee, Ole Miss is well positioned to earn a spot in the championship match for the first time in 15 years.
Ole Miss will also simultaneously shoot its final GARC match virtually with Army. A win over the Black Knights would push the Rebels into a three-way tie with Kentucky and West Virginia as regular season co-champions.
Last weekend the Rebels picked up their 10th win of the season after firing a program record aggregate score in a dominant win over Memphis, 4734-4693. Heading into the match, Ole Miss owns the fourth-best smallbore and air rifle averages in the nation with marks of 2337.8 and 2370.7, respectively. Individually, four of the top 25 individuals in the country are Rebels.
Lea Horvath has had one of the best freshmen campaigns the nation has seen in recent years. The Komárom, Hungary, native ranks third in the NCAA with a blistering aggregate average of 1187.3. She is joined by teammate Kristen Derting in the top 10. Derting sits in ninth overall with an average of 1179.4.
Erin Walsh comes in at No. 22 with an 1173 average. The junior is coming off a career-high score of 1181 in her last match. Senior Abby Buesseler rounds out the top 25 with an average of 1172.4. Buesseler has also fired back-to-back scores of 1181. Both Walsh and Buesseler look to continue shooting at a high level as Ole Miss sets its sights on postseason action.
Scouting the weekend opponents, Jacksonville State dropped a neutral site match with Murray State, 4680-4635, last weekend, while Army is also coming off a win over No. 6 Nebraska, where it fired a season-high mark of 4689.
Saturday’s match is set to begin at 8 a.m. CT and will not be open to the public, but fans are encouraged to follow along on Twitter for live updates and results.
For more information on Ole Miss rifle, follow the Rebels on Facebook (OleMissRifle), Twitter (@OleMissRifle), Instagram (@OleMissRifle) and at OleMissSports.com.
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