The Kentucky Rifle team dropped their first match of the season, falling to Ole Miss 4716-4675 in their home opener.
The Cats were without their top two shooters in 2020 Olympic medalists Mary Tucker and Will Shaner. The duo was busy in international play in Poland, shooting at the ISSF President’s Cup. Tucker placed third in the women’s 10m air rifle competition while Shaner made it to the semifinals of the men’s 10m air rifle event.
“I am very disappointed for our shooters. They have worked very hard and for them not to get the numbers they were looking for is always disheartening,” Kentucky head coach Harry Mullins said.
Kentucky scored a 2318 in smallbore and 2357 in air rifle while the Rebels scored a 2345 in smallbore and 2371 in air rifle.
Ole Miss was led by Kristen Derting and Lea Horvath. Derting (591 smallbore, 593 air rifle) and Horvath (592 smallbore and air rifle) Both scored an aggregate of 1184.
Kentucky seniors Mitchell Nelson and Richard Clark led the way with a 1175 and 1173 aggregate, respectively. Juniors Jaden Thompson (1164), Mason Hamilton (1160) and Emmie Sellers (1155) all finished with impressive aggregate scores as well. Freshman Allison Buesseler also shot well, scoring a 1158 aggregate.
“I feel we have a lot more in us than what we showed today,” Mullins said. “The upside of today is that it gave us plenty to work on. We will have to get back up and on the range next week for another pair of tough matches. This is a very competitive season and the parity is very close.”
The Cats are back at home next weekend as they’re set to take on Morehead State and Murray State in the Kentucky Long Rifle Match on Saturday. The following day, Kentucky will host Memphis in regular competition.