Navy Claims Second Straight Rifle Star

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The ninth-ranked Navy rifle team (9-7, 4-4 GARC) picked up its second-straight Star Match victory over archrival No. 10 Army (3-5, 3-5 GARC) following a 5,828-5,787 victory on Saturday at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.
The Midshipmen had the top two aggregate scorers in the field with Gabriella Mayes (So., Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Kestrel Kuhne (Sr., Everett, Pa.) posting a pair of 1,169s in aggregate scoring. 
The Midshipmen jumped out to an early lead in both the Star Match and NCAA match following the first half of the match. In four-count scoring, the Midshipmen held a 2,311-2,296 advantage over Army following smallbore. Mayes and Kestrel Kuhne paced Navy with a 581 and a 580, respectively in the event. Mayes' team-leading score of 581 also set a new career-best for the sophomore after scoring 580 points on two different occasions this season. 
The final two counting smallbore scores for Navy toward the NCAA match came from Torrance Kang (Jr., Columbia, Md.) and Michael Zanti (So., Norfolk, Va.) with matching 575s. Will Wilkins (Fr., Lemoore, Calif.) fired a career-high 573 for Navy's final counting score toward its five-count Star Match score and the Midshipmen tallied 2,884 points in smallbore for the Star Match.
Army's Clayton Hanson led all individuals in the field with a score of 582 in smallbore as the Black Knights finished smallbore with a five-count score of 2,866 points.
Starting his day in air rifle, Luke Knollinger (Jr., Valley Grove, W. Va.) got Navy off to a strong start in the discipline with a 588, which tied a career-high he set in his last outing against Nebraska. Zanti posted the highest air rifle score in the field with a 592 in the event and Kestrel Kuhne was right behind with a 589. Mayes posted a 588 to tie Knollinger and the final counting score for Navy in both the Star Match and NCAA scoring came from Kang with a 587.
The Midshipmen compiled an air rifle score of 2,944 points for the Star Match to win the Star with a total score of 5,828 points. Army finished with an air rifle five-count score of 2,921, which was paced by a 590 from Kaitlyn Kutz for a Star total of 5,787. Hanson had the top overall score for the Black Knights on Saturday with an aggregate score of 1,167 points.
Along with defeating Army by 41 points for the Star, Navy earned a 4,667-4,634 victory over the Black Knights in the NCAA match with four counting scores. For the sixth-straight competition, Navy surpassed 2,355 points in air rifle following a 2,356 on Saturday. The Midshipmen have scored at least 2,350 points in the discipline in 10 of 11 matches this season.
Navy's victory over Army caps off the 2019-20 regular season for the Midshipmen as they now turn their attention to the NCAA Qualifier Match on Saturday, Feb. 22 against John Jay.