Navy Rifle Hosts Defending National Champ Alaska-Fairbanks

Jan. 18, 2007

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy rifle team will face its stiffest competition to date, hosting defending national champion Alaska-Fairbanks on Friday at the Bancroft Rifle Range at 2:00 pm. The Mids are 5-2 after a pair of victories last weekend with one of the losses coming earlier this year to the visiting Nanooks.

"Alaska-Fairbanks has had a great week so far (on their East coast swing), already posting the nation's highest score (4692) against Army," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley. "They are loaded again this year and have put up solid numbers all year and we expect them to do the same this weekend. It will be a great challenge for us and one that we are very excited for."

The Mids are coming off a strong performance last weekend in wins over Coast Guard and Akron. Navy shot a season-high 4613 against Coast Guard in its first match back from a two-month hiatus on Saturday. On Sunday, the Mids followed with their second-highest score of the year, a 4600, in a 70-point win over Akron. Kelley is hoping that the Mids can put it all together on Friday.

"We have had a great week of practice and the kids are excited to compete against them," said Kelley. "We know that we have our work cut out for us, but if we can keep them in our sights, we think we have a shot late in the match. We are expecting a hard-fought match that should come down to the last few rounds."

The Nanooks defeated Navy on its Alaskan trip, 4651 to 4583, way back on Oct. 28, in Fairbanks, but Kelley expects a tighter match this time around.

"I think that we are a lot better than we showed when we met the first time, and Alaska-Fairbanks is likely better too," said Kelley. "We know who we are and what we can do. It is just a matter of doing it now."

Following its match with the Nanooks, Navy will be in action next Friday and Saturday at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.


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Josh Albright and the Mids host 2006 NCAA Champion Alaska-Fairbanks on Friday.
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