Bears Fall to DI Akron

Melissa Brizzi
Melissa Brizzi

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- Coast Guard hosted the University of Akron, completing the match just before a predicted winter storm, which caused Yale and Loyola of Maryland to cancel, closed the Academy.

While suffering its first home loss of the year from the 15th ranked Division I Zips,  the Bears acquitted themselves well. In the smallbore phase, team captain Nick Paisker led the team to a 2219 aggregate score, just two points below the Academy record of 2221. Paisker's 559 was closely followed by freshman Alexandria Harrington's 556. Sophomore Lindsey Critser, 553, and a personal best from freshman Randall Ford, 551, rounded out the top four.  Freshman David Rose, who is a walk on, had a stellar day with the first of his three personal bests.

Akron's Tim Hopkins 580 was the match's top smallbore score.

Air Rifle was the highlight of the day for Rose, Jacob Dupree, and Melissa Brizzi who all shot personal bests.  Paisker, who is one of the top Air Rifle shooters in the Mid Atlantic Rifle Conference, was top Academy shooter posting a 579. Harrington was hot on his heels again with a 577. The reliable Critser shot a 566 while upcoming freshman Skye Ambrose made her second appearance of the season as a scoring member of the team with her personal best 565.

Akron's Zach Strohl shot a 592 to take top Air Rifle honors, establish a new Coast Guard Academy Range record, and tie the Akron school record. Rose and Dupree's performances gave them aggregate personal bests.

As a side light, Paisker almost earned a varsity letter from Akron for sportsmanship.  Shooting next to a Zip marksman he noticed that she finished early and had completely packed her gear and rifle while shaking her head at what appeared to be a below par performance on her part.  The sharp eyed Paisker noticed that his opponent had lost count of her shots and only fired 50 of the 60 required and so he brought it to her attention and saved her 97 points.

With this loss Coast Guard stands at 9-6 on the season and 9-0 in conference play.  The Bears travel to Fort Worth, Texas next week to take on Division I powerhouses Texas Christian and University of Texas El Paso in a two day non-conference event.