MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin rifle team and first-year head coach MJ Vowell are set to open the 2017-18 fall schedule. The Skyhawks open the season on the road as they travel to compete in the Memphis Tiger Open on Saturday, Sept. 23 before hosting Georgia Southern on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Ranked 19th in the nation in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association preseason poll, UT Martin returns 10 shooters from last season. That includes honorable mention smallbore All-American Joe Martin (579.8 smallbore average, 582.5 air rifle average in 2016-17) and Co-Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Kaitlin Korinek (570.6 smallbore average, 585.1 air rifle average in 2016-17).
“We have an All-American returning with Joe Martin and OVC Freshman of the year Kaitlin Korinek who will be the nucleus of our team this season,” volunteer assistant Bob Beard said. “We also have a very experienced team with six seniors on the squad who should get us through the season with a good bit of respectability.”
Alex Bapties, Ashley Coots, Brigitte Curcio Brianna Sawyers and Alex Tamboli round out the Skyhawk senior class. Also returning is junior Andre Delcalzo, sophomore Amanda Mayo and sophomore Jennifer Plocinik. UT Martin also welcomes in a four-person freshman class that consists of Celia Gelpey, Jacob Osborne, Sean Phillips and Kalen Royal.
“We have a couple of young ladies who are showing great promise with Celia and Kalen making great strides already,” head coach MJ Vowell said. “Both of them are coming along much more quickly than we had anticipated.”
After this weekend, the Skyhawks take on Murray State, Ole Miss, Jacksonville State, North Georgia, Georgia Military College, UTEP and Morehead State to complete the fall portion of their schedule. The annual UTM Rifle Open begins the spring season on Jan. 16-21 before UT Martin closes out the regular season at the Withrow Open hosted by Murray State.
This year’s OVC Championships are scheduled for Feb. 3-4 while the NCAA Qualifier will take place on Feb. 17. Both events will be held in Murray, Ky.