West Virginia’s top-ranked rifle team left Oxford with a win over Ole Miss on Saturday, but the Rebels continue to make their mark in record books.
Despite suffering their first loss early in the season, the Ole Miss rifle team (2-1) shot a program-high 2,372 in the air rifle event, making it the third-highest total score in the program’s history.
Junior Abby Buesseler shot a 597 score in air rifle and tied her personal best in smallbore with a score of 586. Her combined aggregate score of 1183 broke the previous 1180 aggregate score from Ali Weisz in 2016.
“Coming into this match, I just tried to keep it really simple and then thought about the things that I wanted to accomplish and what it took to get to that point,” Buesseler said. “Then I just put it together and try to be really patient with it and not over think it.”
The Mountaineers (3-0) took the match 4704-4674 and won the smallbore event with a score of 2342.
Freshman Claire O’Neel and junior Alana Kelly also set personal records in the air rifle event. O’Neel had a score of 593, and Kelly followed with a score of 592, improving her personal best by three points.
“I am excited the team set the school record in air rifle today,” head coach Marsha Beasley said. “JP Lucas and I have been seeing many excellent scores in practice, and I’m so glad we were able to put it together in a match.”
The Rebels will face two more top-10 teams this weekend, as they travel to Lexington to face No. 3 Kentucky and No. 10 Akron.
The undefeated Wildcats have recent wins against No. 4 Air Force, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 19 UTEP.
In their last match, Kentucky scored a shining 2377 in the air rifle event, tying the nation’s highest air score so far this season. Kentucky shooter Mary Tucker fired a 598 in air and Will Shaner seconded with a score of 597.
Akron, also undefeated, upset Navy in mid-October with a score of 4669-4654 after senior Kera Kaufman’s outstanding performance. Kaufman shot a smallbore of 587 and beat her aggregate by two points.
The Rebels will face a challenge in their first road trip this weekend, but their performance against other top-25 teams shows potential for the upcoming season.