The 20th-ranked UTEP rifle team gained some valuable experience for down the road in an eventual 4,667-4,493 setback at defending national champion and No. 2 TCU Saturday. The Miners recorded a campaign-best effort of 2,272 in the air rifle while finishing at 2,221 in the smallbore. The Horned Frogs, who have won 34 straight regular-season matches, were led by 2012 Olympic participant Sarah Scherer. She claimed both the smallbore (596) and air rifle (596).
Sophomore Jennifer Armendariz was locked in on smallbore, evidenced by a season-best 575. That score is also the highest by any Miner in the discipline this year. Senior Hannah Muegge started her day off well by posting a score of 568, seven better than her effort in the season opener on Oct. 14.
Junior Korina Rodriguez used a nearly perfect performance in prone (199) on the way to finishing with a readout of 566. She has shot better than 565 in both matches this season and three in a row overall. Fellow classmate Areli Oros rounded out the Miners in the smallbore. She fired a total of 512, the third-best score in the event during her time with UTEP.
After about a 30-minute break, the match resumed with the Orange and Blue now vying for success in the air rifle.
Once again, it was Armendariz setting the tone. She was on target throughout en route to matching her career high in the discipline and the eighth-best score in program history at 592. Only the Olympian, Scherer, had a better effort on the day. Additionally the El Paso native has now eclipsed 585 in five consecutive matches, the longest stretch of her career.
Muegge was steady as can be by tallying a score of 571. She has now fired 570 or better in the event in 10 straight and 16 of her past 18 matches.
Oros made some strides in the discipline after producing a score of 538, six higher than the final tally against Jacksonville State and Nevada in the campaign’s lidlifter Oct. 14.
Rodriguez overcame time becoming a factor to shoot a solid 570. It marked the 18th consecutive match that she has achieved at least 570. In fact, the El Paso product has been +570 in 22 of her 23 career appearances in the air rifle.
The Miners will return to the range when they play host to rival and No. 13 Nevada in their home opener on Oct. 27.