The University of Kentucky's rifle team, ranked fourth nationally, opened the season with a 4,666-4,618 victory at No. 16 Akron on Saturday.
The Cats posted a 2,304 in smallbore to take a 30-point lead into the air rifle portion of the match. UK outscored Akron 2,362-2,344 in air rifle to clinch the victory.
"Our numbers were down from where we'd like them to be, but I was impressed with the team's response — especially our freshmen," UK Coach Harry Mullins said in a news release. "This being the first match of the year, we had some struggles, But we worked through them. Now if we keep working hard we'll be able to put up better numbers in future. Hannah Carr was shooter of the match."
Carr, a freshman out of Woodford County, made a stellar debut for Kentucky. She earned the match's best scores in smallbore (584) and air rifle (593).
Heather Kirby (Shelby County) was UK's No. 2 air rifle scorer, and tied for second in the match, with a 591. Freshmen Carmen Fry and Cathryn Papasodora both shot a 589, and Sonya May had a 583.
UK's top two scorers in smallbore were freshmen — Carr, and Fry with a 577.
"I was especially proud of our freshmen," Kirby said. "We had a few newcomers shooting their first match and they handled it well as far as nerves and shooting in new locations. Getting back to competition got everyone excited even though we saw we have some obstacles in front of us. We just have to get back to work as we move toward our goals for the season."