uk rifle1 300LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky rifle team opened the season Saturday with a 4688-4621 win over 14th-ranked and conference opponent Ole Miss, with three UK shooters breaking 590 in air rifle.

“I thought it was a good start to the season,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “I was really proud of the effort our team put forth today, the hard work in practice leading up to this really showed.”

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 12-point lead after kneeling and never looked back, besting Ole Miss in prone 790-784 and in standing 761-742 to hold a 2322-2285 advantage heading in air rifle.

Senior Emily Holsopple led the way in smallbore for the Wildcats, delivering a 587 to open the day. Sophomore Connor Davis propelled the team with the best smallbore performance of his college career, shooting a 585.

As counters, Aaron Holsopple and Heather Kirby delivered 575s in smallbore, while freshman Sonya May shot a 574.

Kentucky claimed the victory in air rifle, shooting a 2366 to Ole Miss’ 2336.

Davis shot the best air rifle score of the day with a 595, with Emily Holsopple posting a 593 in the first match of the year. May had a strong air rifle performance to open her collegiate career with a 591.

“I was really happy to see Emily and Connor shoot in the 1180s aggregate,” Mullins said. “I felt that the freshman really stepped up and help up under the expectations.”

Junior Jonathan Pinkel shot a 588 in air rifle and Aaron Holsopple delivered a 587.

The Rebels were led in smallbore by Abbey Stanec’s 574 and Melissa Quartarone’s 586 in air rifle.

“I feel that what we are doing in training is working,” Mullins said. “It is just a matter of continuing to work at what we are doing. I was real proud of the whole team in the effort that they gave and the work that they committed to. Now it is just time to get back to work this week and prepare for our next test.”

“The great part about our sport is there is always a shot that gets you to come back and push yourself harder. I felt that we are off to a solid start and hope to see the continued work during training so that we can smooth some things out during competition.”

The Wildcats will return to action on Friday with North Carolina State coming to town.

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