uk rifle1 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/28/13) – The University of Kentucky rifle team will enter the 2013-14 season ranked No. 2 in the country for the second consecutive season, it was announced Tuesday by the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association.

It’s always exciting to start the season in this position. I’m honored the confidence that the coaches have in us and that they feel we’re the second-best team heading in to the season,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “Obviously we want to pursue the top spot, work hard to move up and aim towards that spot.”

The Wildcats finished the 2012-13 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, shooting an aggregate 4670 to finish nine points behind National Champion, West Virginia.
West Virginia opens the season ranked No. 1, while Alaska-Fairbanks, TCU and Army round out the top five, all teams that are Kentucky opponents in the 2013-14 season.

“Not being ranked No. 1 always gives us the opportunity to work toward that goal,” Mullins said. “We have the talent and ability to reach that goal but we really haven’t brought the work to the table yet to deserve a top ranking. It gives us something to strive toward. West Virginia is a great team; they have some solid returners and are always a powerhouse.”

With the loss of six seniors after the 2012-13 season, including the smallbore and air rifle average leader Henri Junghänel, Kentucky will look for new faces to step up and incoming freshman to make an impact.

“With that being said, we look at polls as what they are,” Mullins said. “We can’t sit here and say, ‘oh we’re No. 2,’ and not work. We have to bring our ‘A-game’ every day to move up into the position that we’re deserving of. It all starts next week with our first practice.”

Kentucky will open its season vs. Ole Miss on Oct. 19.
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