The UTEP rifle team will wrap up the fall part of its 2018-19 schedule when it plays host to Air Force at 8:30 a.m. MT Saturday. Admission to the match is free.
“Even though this is the last match of the semester, every shot still counts,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “Tomorrow the team’s focus will be to make every shot count. We are also very excited for the Air Force Academy to come down to compete at our home range.”
UTEP has surpassed 4600 in aggregate for three straight matches. It marks the fourth time that the Orange and Blue have done so in the fall portion of the schedule since the NCAA adopted its current scoring system for the 2004-05 campaign. The Miners also achieved that feat in the fall of 2016 (four straight), 2011 (seven in a row), 2010 (three consecutive).
The Orange and Blue have been consistent as a squad in air rifle (2316), while making tremendous strides in smallbore (2270 avg). The smallbore average would be the best at the school in three years (2273, 2015-16).
Furthermore, UTEP has posted back-to-back smallbore scores of at least 2284 for the first time since a three-match streak in 2011-12. Overall UTEP has topped 2284 in the discipline in three different outings, the most such efforts also since 2012-12 (eight).
With the progression of the squad, it is only natural that individuals have been making strides as well. The returnees have all improved their aggregate average from a year ago. Sophomore Samantha Miller has added 10 points (1125 to 1135), junior Mara Rouse (1137 to 1145) and sophomore Jessica Boyce (1144 to 1152) have both increased by eight points and senior Marana Nelson has tacked on two points (1136 to 1138).
Growth is also evident among the pair of newcomers. Freshman Morgahn Warner is averaging an aggregate of 1159 over the last four matches, a huge uptick from the first five (1135). Fellow classmate Josephine John is averaging 1132 the past three matches, a nice bump from her first four (1121).
For fans unable to make it to the match, there will be live stats available online.