Wrestling Preps For Season Opener

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
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  • November 03, 2012 09:59 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team will open its 2012-13 campaign on Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Terrapin Duals in College Park, Md., as it squares off in dual meets against No. 15 Maryland and Johns Hopkins.

Action for the Mountaineers at the Comcast Center is set to begin at 11 a.m., with WVU taking on the Blue Jays. Following that match, the Terrapins will take on Johns Hopkins. To close out the day’s competition, the Mountaineers will battle Maryland with a scheduled start time of 2 p.m.

“We are excited to get the season underway,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “Looking at the overall weekend, the match that has the most national significance is our match against Maryland. They are the two-time defending ACC champions, and they return the bulk of their lineup. This should be a very good early challenge for us. With that being said, we will stay with the same maxim all year with this team – the most important match is the one in front of us, and that is Johns Hopkins right now.”

WVU, which finished the 2011-12 season with a 9-4 mark in dual meets and had four wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships, enters the season with five returning starters.

In addition, the Mountaineers welcome back Colin Johnston and Phil Mandzik. Johnston missed the last two seasons due to injury, while Mandzik redshirted last season.

“We will see some very good individual matchups this weekend,” Turnbull says. “One that we will be paying particularly close attention to is Colin’s, because it will pose a good early test for him. This is the first time in a year that he will be wrestling a live match with a referee, and Maryland’s (Geoffrey) Alexander is a strong performer that qualified for the NCAA Championships last season. This match could be critical in how you add up the dual meet scores.”

Along with the group of returners, WVU’s lineup will feature two redshirt freshmen and one true freshman. Ross Renzi and Bubba Scheffel will see their first collegiate dual meet action after redshirting last year, while A.J. Vizcarrondo will get the starting nod as a true freshman.

“I am interested to see how the young guys handle it,” Turnbull says. “They will be challenged in each match this weekend, but we feel that anyone that has made our lineup has a goal of becoming an All-American. The main thing that they will need to take away from the weekend is that it is a long season, and they have to continue to improve throughout the season.”

The Nov. 4 start to the season marks the earliest start in program history.

After a 22-15 loss to the Terrapins on Jan. 6 last season, the Mountaineers hold a 7-10 mark all-time versus Maryland, while a 48-0 win in the 2011-12 season opener pushed WVU’s mark to 2-0 versus Johns Hopkins.

The Terrapins have five NCAA Championships qualifiers returning to their lineup, including two-time All-American John Asper.

A full recap of the both dual meets will be available on WVUsports.com after the completion of competition.

Probable WVU Starters (2011-12 Record)
125: No. 18 Shane Young (24-8)
133: No. 17 Colin Johnston (0-0)
141: No. 19 Nathan Pennesi (29-10)
149: Brutus Scheffel (18-15)
157: Dominic Prezzia (17-18)
165: Ross Renzi (0-0)
174: Bubba Scheffel (0-0)
184: No. 20 Lance Bryson (25-16)
197: A.J. Vizcarrondo (0-0)
HWT: Phil Mandzik (0-0) or Dink Purnell (0-0)

Probable Johns Hopkins Starters (2011-12 Records)
125: Paul Bewak (30-9)
133: Ray Yagloski (15-7)
141: Paul Marcello (22-5)
149: Henry Stauber (15-11)
157: Christian Ostrowski (0-0) or Christian Salera (10-15)
165: Jody Gowen (1-6) or Welles Sakmar (3-21)
174: Jody Gowen (1-6) or Welles Sakmar (3-21)
184: Kyle Spangler (1-6)
197: Evan Johnson (15-18)
HWT: Joey Tilson (0-0)

Probable Maryland Starters (2011-12 Records)
125: Shane Gentry (14-8) or Josh Polacek (1-3) or Paul O'Neill (7-6)
133: No. 18 Geoffrey Alexander (22-12)
141: Frank Goodwin (10-12) or Danny O'Malley (4-7)
149: Lou Mascola (10-12) or Danny Orem (10-11)
157: Brady Massaro 0-0 or Domenic Derobertis (10-8)
165: Josh Snook (11-12)
174: No. 4 Josh Asper (28-4) or Aaron Norris (0-4)
184: No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock (27-6)
197: No. 10 Christian Boley (31-3) or Ty Snook (14-15)
HWT: Dallas Brown (2-5)


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