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Alaska Nanooks rifle off to hot start after sweeping nationally-ranked Memphis

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 8:00 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The 11th-ranked Alaska Nanooks rifle program opened their 2020-21 season with a sweep over 14th-ranked Memphis Tigers. Through two matches, the Nooks saw individual performances that helped secure two wins to start the season.

Alaska opened the series with a 4,698-4,670 victory in the first match behind the efforts of senior Jessica Boyce and freshman Marina Gonzales Mago. Boyce was second on the leaderboard with a aggregate score of 1,178 points, taking third in both smallbore and air rifle. Mago made quite a debut for the Blue and Gold, with a second place finish in the smallbore, scoring a 588.

“Marina shot phenomenally on the first day, especially in the smallbore and that was great," said Head Coach Will Anti. “Marina was the high smallbore shooter that on the team.”

Mago was not the only freshman to shine for the Nanooks, as redshirt-freshman Rylan Kissell finished seventh on the leaderboard with a score of 1,164 points. Alaska had six of the top seven shooters for the aggregate scores.

November 14, 2020 LeaderboardSmallboreAir RifleAggregate Score
1. Taylor Gibson - Memphis5885951,183
2. Jessica Boyce - UAF5865921,178
3. Marina Gonzales Mago - UAF5885861,174
4. Kellen McAferty - UAF5815911,172
5. Liam Eberhart - UAF5825881,170
6. Daniel Enger - UAF5835841,167
7. Rylan Kissell - UAF5715931,164
8. Jack Kersey - Memphis5795851,164
9. Kaylene Castillo - Memphis5715901,161
10. Haley Castillo - UAF5745861,160

In match two, the Nanooks had to sweat out the final relay as they won by only three points over Memphis. Alaska outshot Memphis 4,697-4,694 as junior Kellen McAferty led the leaderboard with a aggregate score of 1,179 points. The Nooks had five of the top seven shooters, as two of their seniors turned in great performances to earn the win.

“Even through the first relay it was clear that it was going to be a close match,” said Coach Anti. “Memphis led for most of the match. Finally with a relay to go, Randi [Loudin] the assistant coach and I looked at each other and said alright we’re not even going to look at the scores until the match is over.”

McAferty led the smallbore leaderboard with 589 points while senior Liam Eberhart led the air rifle section with a score of 595.

November 15, 2020 LeaderboardSmallboreAir RifleAggregate Score
1. Kellen McAferty - UAF5895901,179
2. Taylor Gibson - Memphis5845931,177
3. Liam Eberhart - UAF5815951,176
4. Jack Kersey - Memphis5855881,173
5. Jessica Boyce - UAF5795921,171
6. Daniel Enger - UAF5815901,171
7. Rylan Kissell - UAF5815891,170
8. Taylor Christian - Memphis5735921,165
9. Arielle Kimm - Memphis5835821,165
10. David Crenshaw - Memphis5795851,164

The (2-0) Nanooks now prepare for No. 3 Ole Miss this week in Oxford, Mississippi Tuesday.

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