No. 4 Racer rifle falls short at Buckeye Open

Ana Bundy // The News Murray State's #4 ranking rifle team practices air rifle in the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range. (L-R) Kelsey Emme, junior from Piedomont, S.D., Tessa Howald, sophomore from Ozark, Mo., Jack Berhorst, freshman from Lawson, Mo.Ana Bundy // The News Murray State's #4 ranking rifle team practices air rifle in the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range. (L-R) Kelsey Emme, junior from Piedomont, S.D., Tessa Howald, sophomore from Ozark, Mo., Jack Berhorst, freshman from Lawson, Mo.

The Buckeye Open did not go the way Head Coach Allen Lollar and the Racer Rifle team had hoped for after coming off its tri-match victory over then No. 3 Jacksonville State and No. 4 Texas Christian.

Ana Bundy // The News Murray State's #4 ranking rifle team practices air rifle in the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range. (L-R) Kelsey Emme, junior from Piedomont, S.D., Tessa Howald, sophomore from Ozark, Mo., Jack Berhorst, freshman from Lawson, Mo.

Ana Bundy // The News
Murray State’s #4 ranking rifle team practices air rifle in the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range. (L-R) Kelsey Emme, junior from Piedomont, S.D., Tessa Howald, sophomore from Ozark, Mo., Jack Berhorst, freshman from Lawson, Mo.

The Racers totaled an aggregate 4,608. They shot 2,272 in smallbore and 2,336 in air rifle.

Junior Kelsey Emme took charge in smallbore with a team high 576; she finished in a close second behind sophomore Tessa Howald in air rifle with a score of 587. Howald shot a 589 in air rifle.

Freshman Jack Berhorst finished third in air rifle with a score of 580 and finished smallbore at 570.

“We didn’t have the match we were hoping to have following up the big weekend and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Lollar said.

“It just didn’t come together for us. The only thing left to do is come back to work and figure out what the problems were, why we didn’t shoot as well as we did the week before and try to fix those things.”

Murray State sits at No. 4 in the College Rifle Coaches Association Top 20 list behind No. 3 West Virginia and top ranked teams University of Kentucky and University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

The Racers have one match left before Winter Break when they travel to No. 7 Jacksonville State for the Gamecock Invitational Nov. 24.

And Lollar knows a win at Jacksonville can give the squad a boost as it heads into its home training.

“(A win) would be great because after we shoot at Jacksonville on the 24th, we will be basically off as a team until we come back on the 4th of January,” he said. “This (match) will provide the feeling they have going into Christmas, which carries over a lot to how you train and the confidence you train with and how we come back at the start of next semester.”

After the break Racer Rifle returns to Pat Spurgen Rifle Range to face North Carolina State and Columbus State for its second tri-match of the season Jan. 11.

The Racers then hit the road for their third and final tri-match of the season against Army and in-state rival UK Jan. 18 and 19.

After the pair of matches the Racers take to the OVC Championships Feb. 8 at home.

 

Story by Nick Dolan, Assistant Sports Editor