No. 6 Nebraska vs. No. 7 Air Force
Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Start Time: 9 a.m. CST
Location: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Venue: Air Force Rifle Range
The Nebraska rifle team will close out their fall schedule this weekend as they travel west for a match with the No. 7 Air Force Academy Falcons in Colorado Springs, Colo. The No. 6 Huskers (8-2, 2-1 GARC) and the Falcons (9-4) will square off on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 9 a.m. CST (8 a.m. MST) in the Air Force Academy Rifle Range.
Nebraska holds a 19-5 all-time advantage against Air Force. The two teams most recently met in Fall 2011, where the Falcons came away with a 4,602-4,570 victory over NU. Air Force is in its sixth season of competition under former Nebraska head coach Launi Meili.
The Huskers are ranked sixth nationally this week, holding a season average score of 4,640.2 and wins over NC State, Alaska-Fairbanks, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Nevada and UTEP. The Huskers are paced by senior two-time All-American Janine Dutton, who holds the NU's top individual air rifle (587.8), smallbore (576.2) and combined scoring averages (1,164). Dutton has won four individual titles this season.
Scouting the Air Force Academy Falcons
Head Coach: Launi Meili (Sixth Year)
2012-13 High Score: 4,639 (All-Service Academies President's Cup)
2012 NCAA Finish: N/A
The Air Force Falcons field a young squad this season, with four returners combining with five newcomers. Air Force won the All-Service Academies President's Cup for the first time in 12 years this season, firing a 4,639 to defeat Army, Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Falcons hold wins over UTEP, Ohio State and Akron and are ranked seventh nationally, with an overall record of 9-4. Head Coach Launi Meili is in her sixth season at the helm of the Air Force program.
Nebraska Finishes 5-1 on Weekend in Ohio
The Huskers completed a weekend of competition in Ohio on Nov. 11, finishing with an overall record of 5-1. Nebraska logged a score of 4,642 on Saturday, Nov. 10, good for second behind No. 3 TCU (4,708) and ahead of No. 11 Nevada (4,626) and No. 12 Ohio State (4,594). NU then returned for a first-place victory on Sunday, Nov. 11, scoring a 4,639 to top Nevada (4,629), Ohio State (4,609) and UTEP (4,503).
"Overall, the weekend went well," Head Coach Stacy Underwood said. "I am still looking for the team to have a break-through performance, but it takes a little while for the small changes that we have implemented to show in a big way."
The Huskers started the weekend on Saturday against defending national champion TCU, as well as Nevada and Ohio State. NU began the day on the smallbore range, tallying a team score of 2,296. Freshman Denise Martin led the team, firing a 578 to finish fifth overall. Sophomore Kelsey Hansen was the other top ten finisher for the Huskers, adding a 574 to finish tenth. Following smallbore competition, the Huskers sat tied at second overall, even with Nevada and behind TCU.
Nebraska battled back in air rifle competition, outscoring Nevada by 16 points for second place. The Huskers posted a score of 2,346, led by senior Janine Dutton's third-place mark of 590. Two other Huskers added top-ten finishes, with Hansen coming in at fifth (587) and Martin finishing eighth (586) to secure Nebraska's second-place team effort.
Sunday saw the Huskers on the range again, this time facing Nevada and Ohio State with the new addition of UTEP. Nebraska finished second to Nevada in smallbore competition, logging a 2,296 on the range. Dutton was tops for the Huskers in the discipline, finishing with a team and meet-best 591 to capture the individual title. Senior Katelyn Woltersdorf also logged a top-five finish at fifth (574) and was joined in the top ten by junior Sunny Russell at tenth (572).
Nebraska again secured their victory on the air rifle range with a team score of 2,343. Martin led the Huskers with a 590 to place her at second on the day in the event. Dutton added a 589 to finish third overall, while Hansen came in at fourth with a 586.
Nebraska Air Rifle Powers Wins
The Huskers have shown marked improvement this season on air rifle range, firing their way to an overall team average of 2,339.8 through six matches. NU's team average in the discipline is 22 points higher than the same time last season, when the Big Red averaged 2,317.7 points through six matches. NU posted a score of 2,329 in their first match of the season against NC State; since then, the Huskers have averaged 2,342 points per match in air rifle.
Nebraska's air rifle efforts have been paced by Dutton and Martin this season. Either Dutton or Martin has carried the top score for NU in air rifle through all of the Huskers' first six matches, with the duo capturing three individual air rifle titles. Dutton leads the team in air rifle scoring average at 587.8, with a season high score of 592 and two individual titles. Martin, meanwhile, is second overall in the discipline for the Huskers, holding an average of 586, a high score of 590 and one individual title.
Nebraska Ranked No. 6 Nationally
NU remained ranked at No. 6 nationally in the latest Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) rankings, released Nov. 13. Nebraska holds a 7-2 record this season, with its lone losses coming against two of the top three teams in the country in No. 1 TCU and No. 3 Kentucky. The Huskers have posted wins over Alaska-Fairbanks, NC State, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Nevada and UTEP.
The TCU Horned Frogs slipped back into the No. 1 spot in the poll this week after firing a school-record score of 4,708 last weekend. No. 2 West Virginia and No. 3 Kentucky round out the top three national, while No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks and No. 5 Jacksonville State make up the top five. Four other GARC teams appear in this week's poll, including Army (No. 8), Ole Miss (No. 10), NC State (No. 13) and Memphis (No. 14).
Up Next for the Huskers
The Huskers will take break from competition through December before returning for the second half of their 2012-13 slate in January. Nebraska will open their spring schedule against Air Force on Jan. 12 in the friendly confines of the NU Rifle Range. The match is slated for an 8 a.m. start, with free live stats available at Huskers.com.
Nebraska Adds Four Talented Freshmen to Roster
Four skilled freshman shooters joined the NU roster this season, providing depth in both disciplines for the Big Red. Alexandrea Lorentz, Marissa Major, Denise Martin and Magdalena Mical bring plenty of experience to the Nebraska squad and have competed for spots in the NU lineup immediately.
Lorentz arrived at Nebraska after a successful shooting career at West Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska. She captured MVP honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011 while helping her squad to a 2012 Divisional championship. Lorentz also competed with the Borealis Bullseyes club team, contributing to team finishes of second in 2010 and fifth in 2012 at the Junior Olympics in the Precision Team Championship.
Major shot with the Arvada Rifle and Pistol Club in Arvada, Colo., before committing to Nebraska. She finished first in the NRA Junior Three-Position Air Rifle Precision competition and was the Colorado Rifle Club Smallbore Prone Summer League Winner in the 1000 Handicap.
Martin was a three-time Washington state champion and finished second overall at the USA Shooting National Championships. A native of Chewelah, Wash., Martin was a member of the USA Shooting team at the 2010 International Shooting Sports Federation Junior World Championships. She won the 2009 Junior Olympic Three-Position Air Rifle Precision Class Championship and was a member of the championship-winning Colville Valley Sharp Shooters 4-H Club at the WSRPA/NRA Championships in 2009 and 2011.
The final member of Nebraska's freshman class, Mical finished first in smallbore at the 2011 Florida Junior Olympic Qualifier and was a 2011 Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier. She also finished fourth at the American Legion Three-Position Air Rifle Championship in 2010 and was the Florida Metric Prone State Champion in 2010.
Stacy Underwood Named Nebraska Rifle Coach
The Nebraska rifle program entered a new era on May 24, 2012 as the team announced former Husker shooter Stacy Underwood as its new head coach. Underwood arrived at Nebraska after spending five years as an assistant coach under Coach Harry Mullins at Kentucky. During her time at Kentucky, Underwood helped the Wildcats to a 48-8 record and five top-five NCAA finishes. UK won the 2011 NCAA Championship while adding one GARC Championship title and two GARC regular-season crowns during Underwood's tenure. Underwood also assisted in the development of 26 All-Americans while at Kentucky.
Prior to her coaching career, Underwood competed for the Nebraska rifle team from 2003 to 2007. She was a four-year letterwinner for NU and a two-time NRA All-American. Underwood was named the GARC Senior of the Year in 2007 and also earned All-GARC honors in air rifle and and combined. A team captain in 2004-05, she helped the Huskers to a third-place NCAA finish that season and a fifth-place finish in 2007.
Underwood graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2007, earning a bachelor's degree in education. She added a master's degree in kinesiology and health promotion from Kentucky in 2009.