MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team will travel to No. 20 Edinboro and Cleveland State this weekend for its final dual meets of the season, which are set to begin on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Mountaineers will open their final road trip of the Eastern Wrestling League schedule with their contest against the Fighting Scots, who are still in contention for the league’s regular season title with their perfect 4-0 league mark and 9-2 overall record this season.
“Traditionally, at least one of the two of us is competing for the EWL title at this point of the season, and that is the position they are in this season,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “They will need to defeat Pitt along with us in order to win the regular season title. We always get a very good effort from them, and their coaches always do a great job of preparing them.”
Edinboro will send six ranked wrestlers to the mat, including three that are ranked within the top 10 of their respective weight classes.
“It will be interesting to see how those matchups play out because if you match Nathan’s (Pennesi) record up with their individual at 133 pounds, it is very similar,” Turnbull says. “At their other top weight classes of 149 and 197 pounds, Brutus (Scheffel) has been wrestling very well for us, and their 197-pounder would be a tough challenge for anyone since he is the top guy in the nation.”
In order to nix any advantage that the Fighting Scots may have in the dual meet, Turnbull says it important that the Mountaineers’ use their strength in the lighter weight classes to build an early lead.
“The first four weight classes are going to be critical to the outcome of this match,” Turnbull says. “Then again, where they have been a little inconsistent is the same matchups as us at 157 and 165 pounds. It should be a fun dual meet to watch if you are just a fan. I expect to see a good battle and a good wrestling match.”
WVU will have a quick turnaround after the match against Edinboro, as they will take on the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
Cleveland State has struggled on their way to a 6-13 overall record this season and a 0-5 mark in the EWL.
“I want to be careful with how we approach Cleveland State,” Turnbull says. “We want to make sure our team takes into consideration what we have been saying all year, and that is that the match in front of you is the most important one. They have to prepare the same for every match. It would be really easy with the back-to-back matches to have an emotional letdown.”
In order to avoid that type of letdown, Turnbull is hoping that the Mountaineers will draw on their early season experience against Bloomsburg, in which WVU was upset 25-10 by the Huskies.
“Each dual meet is so different, but the Bloomsburg match was a very good learning experience,” Turnbull says. “No one felt good about that, and all of the guys took it to heart. Since that match, we could have had a little better effort in a couple places, but there were lessons that were taken away from that match that have helped along the way.”
Fans can follow live results from both matches on TrackWrestling.com.
A full recap of both dual meets will be available on MSNsportsNET.com after the completion of competition.Projected LineupsWest Virginia
125: No. 23 Shane Young (19-5)
133: No. 25 Nathan Pennesi (24-6)
141: No. 29 Michael Morales (10-2)
149: Brutus Scheffel (18-12)
157: Dominic Prezzia (14-14)
165: Kyle Eason (14-14)
174: No. 21 Lance Bryson (20-11)
184: No. 16 Matt Ryan (15-3)
197: Mac Mancuso (15-6)
HWT: No. 17 Brandon Williamson (21-6)Edinboro
125: Kory Mines (14-14)
133: No. 6 A.J. Schopp (32-3)
141: No. 13 Mitchell Port (24-6)
149: No. 5 Dave Habat
157: Casey Fuller (19-17)
165: Jesse Swink (8-10)
174: Chris Hrunka (16-14)
184: No. 28 Vic Avery
197: No. 1 Chris Honeycutt
HWT: No. 20 Ernest JamesCleveland State
125: Ben Willeford (17-14)
133: Nick Flannery (20-12)
141: Josh Palivoda (15-16)
149: Lawrence Cavello (4-10)
157: Brandon Sommers (2-7)
165: Casey Carlo (7-10)
174: Aric Thurn (4-18)
184: Corbin Boone (4-16)
197: Nick Anthony (4-19)
HWT: Garry Yarborogh (7-14)