Last weekend the Racer rifle team departed from its steady rise in scores to fall 15 points in its match against West Virginia with a long series of matches
still looming before them.
Though the team wasn’t happy with the results of the match, not every element went badly.
“It was not our best match,” Coach Alan Lollar said. “We were not happy with how that went. There’s just not a real good feeling about the match as a whole.
“We had some good things happen. We shot our best smallbore and Kelsey Emme had a great day in air rifle. She shot a 592 and had a new personal best. We were very inconsistent and not there as a team in air rifle, and that’s what we strive to be – consistent. So we weren’t happy about that. The good news is that it’s all stuff we can work on and we are doing that.”
Also good news is that the changes the rifle team needs to make may not overburden the four days the Racers have to make them.
“It’s mostly process stuff,” Lollar said. “It’s not like we’re having to make a change mechanically or technically on a lot of stuff. It’s how we go about doing things and the way we handle different situations. It’s part of the growing up as a team that we’re still doing. So although we weren’t particularly happy with the outcome I think we identify it as a process we have to go through if we are going to get better.”
Though Lollar is far from happy with the results, he recognizes the loss is another step in the process a team, especially a young team, has to undergo to make their way to a winning season.
“It’s not easy,” Lollar said. “It’s a very hard thing, but you don’t learn things about yourself when they’re going well. You learn them when things are difficult and you have to deal with adversity. That’s when you learn how to be a winner. So I think we learned a few things this weekend and I think we’ll be able to move forward from it.”
This weekend the Racers will host the No. 3 team in the country, Texas Christian University, and No. 18 Morehead State University in their last home match of the year.
“TCU is one of the top teams in the country,” Lollar said. “They’re just as good as they ever were. They just reload and keep coming at you. I expect a very good match. They’ve got some really great shooters.”
As for Morehead State, though, the team hasn’t posted scores as high as the Racers’ so far this season their consistency, especially after a lapse in consistency from Murray State last weekend, could play a major factor in the match.
“Morehead has been very consistent this year,” Lollar said. “They are always very competitive and he’s added some shooters that really and truly make them a better team once they get a little more consistent. I think he’s got some young people who are going to be able to help him.”
“I’m excited,” Kelsey Emme, freshman shooter, said. “Hopefully we’ll come out with two good scores in small bore and air rifle. I definitely think we have the potential to improve. I think we’re ready to come out and shoot as best as we can. We’ll be working hard.”