The University of the Sciences mixed rifle team captured their 14th Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference Championship on March 7, defeating Virginia Military Institute's mixed rifle team, 2049-2028, to win the MAC Sharpshooter Division Varsity Smallbore Championship.
This year's title is the mixed team's second-consecutive sharpshooter division smallbore championship, having defeated VMI's mixed team last year as well. Coupled with the four MAC Championships won by the Devils' women's team, University of the Sciences can now claim a total of 18 MAC Championships in the 33 years under the guidance and watchful eye of Head Coach Paul Klimitas.
Junior Glen Hirsh (Cherokee HS/Marlton, N.J.) led the Devils with a score of 532 (97, 90 prone; 82, 84 stand; 90, 89 kneel). Hirsh was followed by junior Courtney Cavalieri's (Highland HS/Highland, N.Y.) score of 526 (95, 96 prone; 84, 78 stand, 85, 88 kneel). Rounding out the Devils top four shooters were seniors Hannah Goess (Massapequa HS/Massapequa, N.Y.) and Alex Novin (Washington Township HS/Sewell, N.J.). Goess shot 513 (93, 91 prone; 85, 77 stand; 82, 85 kneel) while Novin shot 478 (93, 91 prone; 63, 65 stand; 74, 92 kneel).
This year's championship also marks the fourth championship squad that Cavalieri has been a part of, having been one of the shooters on last year's smallbore champions and as a member of the the University's women's team's two MAC Marksman division championships in 2007.
On the air rifle side, the women's team was gunning for their fifth MAC championship in their fourth season of competition. However the air rifle squad from SUNY Maritime had other ideas, defeating the Devils, 2110-1960, to capture the Sharpshooter Division Air Rifle title.
Sophomore Deborah Booth (Watchung Hills Regional HS/Millington, N.J.) led the women with a score of 532 (93, 89, 84, 91, 85, 90). Sophomore Nicole Churchill (Pocono Mountain West HS/ Albrightsville, Pa.) followed with a score of 486 (84, 80, 76, 81, 84, 81). Seniors Danielle Grimaldi (Staten Island Tech HS/ Staten Island, N.Y.) and Katie Bubacz (Padua Academy/New Castle, Del.) rounded out the Devils four competitors. Grimaldi shot 479 (71, 81, 76, 82, 88, 81) while Bubacz shot 463 (77, 80, 81, 81, 71, 73).
Cavalieri also competed as an individual on the air rifle side, shooting a score of 555 (89, 93, 94, 98, 91, 90). Her score placed her 13th overall amongst the 41 air rifle shooters competing at the MAC Championship.
"The effort put forth by each team member competing was solid," said Coach Klimitas. "Would they have liked to shoot better? Sure, but that's the mentality of a competitor. Coming back early during Spring Break takes its toll training wise. It's a long season. We did just fine."