MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team will wrestle in its final non-conference dual meet of the season on Friday, when it travels to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio at 7 p.m.
“We do not know a whole lot about Ohio, but we did have the opportunity to see their guys at the Reno Tournament of Champions,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “They have the tremendous benefit of being in the center of Ohio for a recruiting base, and they put together a very solid team year in and year out. They seem to wrestle very well against us.”
The Bobcats (3-5) last wrestled on Jan. 29, when they defeated Buffalo, 22-18. Ohio’s previous match against Clarion, which was scheduled for Feb. 4 was postponed for medical reasons.
The Mountaineers, who are coming off of a 26-12 loss to No. 9 Pitt, enter the dual meet with a 6-4 overall mark.
“At this time of the year, it is time for us to individually and collectively get our best wrestling out as we head into the Eastern Wrestling League Championships,” Turnbull says. “We have three matches and three opportunities left for each of our guys to dot their I’s and cross their T’s, for lack of a better term.”
The Bobcats feature two nationally ranked wrestlers in their lineup, and they are No. 18 Nick Purdue (15-6) at 174 pounds and heavyweight Jeremy Johnson (25-5), who is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
Both Johnson and Purdue will face tough competition from the Mountaineers, as WVU will send No. 22 Lance Bryson (19-11) to the mat at 174 pounds along with No. 16 Brandon Williamson at heavyweight (20-6).
“The matches at 174 pounds and at heavyweight will be important matches, there is no doubt about that,” Turnbull says. “Lance is due to win one of these tight one-point or two-point matches. With both of these matches against highly ranked opponents, wins of this caliber will be important for both Lance and Brandon.”
Turnbull’s focus will also be on the 125-pound matchup, which will pit No. 26 Shane Young against the Bobcat’s Gabe Ramos (6-8). Young and Ramos have split a pair of one-point decisions in their previous two meetings, with Young coming out on top last year, 4-3.
“This will be a good challenge for Shane after his loss last week versus Pitt,” Turnbull says. “He’s got to be intense offensively. When he wrestles with that intensity and aggression, he is tough to beat. He has had a very good week of practices in which he has showcased that intensity.”
Live results from the match can be followed on TrackWrestling.com.
A full recap of Friday night’s action will be available on MSNsportsNET.com following the completion of competition.Projected Starting Lineups
125: No. 26 Shane Young (18-5) vs. Gabe Ramos (6-8)
133: No. 24 Nathan Pennesi (23-6) vs. Drew Hammer (7-7)
141: No. 31 Michael Morales (9-2) vs. Darrin Boing (12-2)
149: Brutus Scheffel (17-12) vs. Andrew Romanchik (12-11)
157: Dominic Prezzia (14-13) vs. Harrison Hightower (16-13)
165: Kyle Eason (13-14) vs. Miles Chapman (7-10)
174: No. 22 Lance Bryson (19-11) vs. No. 18 Nick Purdue (15-6) OR Michael Duckworth (11-7)
184: No. 16 Matt Ryan (14-3) vs. Ryan Garringer (10-11)
197: Mac Mancuso (14-6) vs. Kyle Sanders (0-2) OR Beau Wenger (5-12)
HWT: No. 16 Brandon Williamson (20-6) vs. No. 7 Jeremy Johnson (25-5) OR Andy Hartshorn (12-8)