West Point, NY - This weekend the University of the Sciences Mixed and Women's Rifle teams traveled to the United States Military Academy to compete in the NCAA Qualifiers, a match that carries 50% of the season weight when determining final National Rankings. The #12th ranked Black Knights are coached by Web Wright, an accomplished shooter with multiple individual and team national championships, world record holder and Olympian. However, that did not daunt the Devils as they went thru every hoop short of a body search to arrive and compete.
The Black Knights scored a combined 4654 and that was enough to defeat both the Mixed Team (4086) and the Women's team (4093) from the University of the Sciences.
Although USciences was not victorious over Army, many of the individual and team goals were met on this unseasonably warm day. Both the Mixed and Womens Teams once again realized Coach Dalidowicz's goal of exceeding 2000 points in Smallbore and Air Rifle with the Women's Team setting new season bests with a 2025 Smallbore and 2068 in air rifle.
In Smallbore, freshman phenom Rachel Hubal continues to astound Coach Dalidowicz with personal bests each week. Her career best of 520 today, smashing the old record by 22 points, is a long way from never having competed until her arrival at USciences. "Rachel is going to be a major force to reckon with next year and I have very high expectations for her" said Coach Dalidowicz. Women's Team co-captain, junior Minhee Kang followed with a score of 512. Junior Lauren Stabler also recorded a personal best 501 on her way to third place followed closely by co-captain Alexandra Tuman's 492. Christina Ta rounded out the women's team with a final score of 427.
Not to be outdone on the Mixed side, junior Nick Zsoldos posted a personal best 536 to lead the Mixed Team's efforts. "I know Nick was disappointed that he didn't reach his personal goal of 540, but that kid shot with heart and determination today. I am very proud of his performance today," Head Coach Dalidowicz said. Closely following Nick was Co-captain Matt Popowicz, shooting his way to an impressive final score of 523. Nick Lin had a rough day on the range recording a score of 488, while Andrej Quatrone followed close behind with a 486. Rounding out the Devils performance were the Joshua Jo and Christian Ruffin, with a 468 and 457 respectively.
The Air rifle phase showed the depth and power of the women's team as once again freshman Rachel Hubal overtook the pack with a solid 524 performance. Minhee Kang followed closely with a 520 and was supported by Christina Ta's 514, and Allie Tuman's 510. Rounding out the women's air rifle portion was Lauren Stabler with a score of 500. "This is the first time this season that the women's team has clicked on all cylinders with each and every competitor over the 500 mark! It was truly an impressive performance and a great way to head into the MAC Championships in two weeks at Virginia Military Institute," Head Coach Dalidowicz exclaimed.
Mixed team co-captain Nick Zsoldos once again led his squad, shooting his way to a final score of 530, while fellow co-captain Matt Popowicz recorded his personal best at 518. However, Nick Lin was the last Devil over 500 with a respectable 507. Andrej Quatrone came up just two points of the 500 mark, recording a final score of 498. Rounding out the mixed team was Christian Ruffin and Josh Jo with respectable scores of 493 and 460.
This match concluded the regular season play for both the mixed and women's teams.
In two weeks the Women's Rifle team will head to Virginia Military Institute to compete in the MAC Championships in both disciplines. They will face off against Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Marksman Air Rifle Division and Yale University in Smallbore. The women are returning to the MAC Championships for the 3rd year in a row.