MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team welcomes No. 1 Penn State to the WVU Coliseum this Sunday, Nov. 18, in its first home dual meet of the season, with action set to begin at 2 p.m.
The top-ranked Nittany Lions (1-0), who are the two-time defending NCAA champions, feature a lineup with seven wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s top six, six All-Americans and three NCAA champions.
In its season opener against No. 24 Lehigh on Friday night, Penn State was victorious, 29-6.
“This is probably the most talented and skilled dual meet team to ever to compete in the WVU Coliseum,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “We’ve got a very stiff challenge in front of us. We are going to have to maintain our focus throughout the length of each match in order to be prepared for this type of challenge.”
The Mountaineers (1-1), who competed at the Wolfpack Open last weekend, will return to the dual meet format for the first time since Nov. 4, when they defeated Johns Hopkins and loss to then-No. 15 Maryland at the Terrapins Duals.
“With the match being in our gym, we hope that helps our comfort level,” Turnbull says. “It isn’t always about winning and losing in wrestling - it is about the quality of performance and quality of intensity that you put out there on the mat. Those are the things that we have been talking to our guys about.”
This will be the fifth-consecutive season that Mountaineers have taken on Penn State, with the Nittany Lions coming out on top in each of the matches, including a 34-6 win in last season’s match held at Rec Hall in State College, Pa.
Overall, Penn State leads the all-time series 28-7, with WVU’s last win coming in 2002.
“You are always trying to compete the best you can each time out,” Turnbull says. “Every once in a while last year, we did not wrestle in a way that was truly representative of us – guys that experienced last year do not want to experience that again. We have an opportunity against a team that is exceptional, and we will accept the results that our efforts give us, which ideally will be the best effort that we have.”
The match marks the first time since Feb. 18, 2006 that a No. 1 opponent has competed in the WVU Coliseum in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, gymnastics or wrestling.
Fans unable to attend Sunday’s match can follow the Mountaineers via a free WebStream presented by Kroger at WVUsports.com.Probable WVU Starters (2012-13 Record)
125: No. 20 Shane Young
133: No. 17 Colin Johnston
141: No. 19 Nathan Pennesi
149: Brutus Scheffel
157: Dominic Prezzia
165: Ross Renzi
174: Bubba Scheffel
184: Lance Bryson
197: A.J. Vizcarrondo
HWT: Phil Mandzik
(3-3)Probable Penn State Starters (2012-13 Record)
125: No. 2 Nico Megaludis (1-0)
133: Jordan Conaway (1-0) OR Frank Martellotti (0-0)
141: Bryan Pearsall (1-0)
149: No. 6 Andrew Alton (0-0) OR James English (1-0)
157: No. 2 Dylan Alton (0-1)
165: No. 2 David Taylor (1-0)
174: No. 5 Matt Brown (1-0)
184: No. 1 Ed Ruth (1-0)
197: No. 3 Quentin Wright (1-0)
285: Jimmy Lawson (0-0) OR Jon Gingrich (4-1)