OXFORD, Miss. - With five letterwinners and the top three shooters from the 2012-13 season returning this year, the Ole Miss rifle team earned a ranking of No. 11 in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) preseason poll.
"We are excited about the preseason recognition, but this ranking isn't as important as the one at the end," head coach Valerie Boothe said. "Rankings change throughout the year, but our effort and dedication will not. We are determined to make this our best year."
Leading the returnees are seniors Melissa Quartarone and Abbey Stanec. Stanec led the team in air rifle last year with a season average of 584.6 and qualified for the NCAA Championships in both air rifle and smallbore. Quartarone produced the top smallbore average (575) for the Rebels and earned All-GARC honors in Combined.
The Rebels have just missed out on making the NCAA Championships as a team the past three years and are hoping with a senior-laden squad, 2013-14 will be the year they finally kick the door in.
The quest begins Sept. 28 in Oxford as the Rebels host the Ole Miss Invitational. The team's first home dual match will be Oct. 5 against Army. It's a pink out match, as the Rebels will wear pink visors in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
Admission to all rifle home matches at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center is free, and competition usually begins at 8 a.m.
Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Preseason Top 20 1. West Virginia 2. Kentucky 3. University of Alaska Fairbanks 4. TCU 5. United States Military Academy 6. Nebraska 7. United States Air Force Academy 8. Jacksonville State University 9. Murray State University 10. Ohio State 11. Ole Miss 12. Memphis 13. University of Nevada- Reno 14. United States Naval Academy 15. NC State 16. Akron 17. Columbus State 18. UTEP 19. UT-Martin 20. Morehead State
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