Wrestling: WVU Set to Open Season
- By Brian Kuppelweiser
- November 04, 2011 03:24 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia wrestling team is set to open the 88th season in program history on Sunday when it travels to College Park, Md., for the University of Maryland Duals.
The Mountaineers will compete against Johns Hopkins at 10 a.m. and Franklin & Marshall at 11:30 a.m.
The Blue Jays finished last season with a 9-10 overall record, while the Diplomats are coming off of a 4-9 season.
“I am excited to get started because each year there is some question marks, even with guys that you know,” coach Craig Turnbull says. “It is a whole new year, and it is the fingerprint of a new season.”
WVU finished last season with a 9-4 overall record and had five grapplers qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Of the five qualifiers, No. 20 Shane Young (125), No. 24 Nathan Pennesi (141) and No. 24 Matt Ryan (184) will be returning to the Mountaineers starting lineup.
No. 14 Colin Johnston (133), redshirt junior Lance Bryson (174) and No. 11 Brandon Williamson (HWT) will also be returning to the lineup after they missed last season due to injury.
Wiliamson qualified for the NCAA Championships during the 2009-10 season.
“We have six guys from last year that are really prepared to stand on that podium as an All-American,” says Turnbull.
The three remaining starting spots will be filled by redshirt freshmen Brutus Scheffel (149), Dominic Prezzia (157) and redshirt senior Kyle Eason (165).
“The other guys that we have in the lineup have a little less experience, but they are very excited,” says Turnbull. “When you look at the blend of younger guys and experienced guys, you hope that experienced guys can kind of pull them along and create some momentum within the team.”
Young led the team in victories last season as he compiled a 28-10 overall and placed second at the Eastern Wrestling League Championships.
Pennesi and Ryan registered 24 and 22 wins, respectively, while placing second and third at the EWL Championships.
Sunday’s dual meets will be held at the Comcast Center and will also feature Maryland and Bloomsburg.