MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team travels to Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday, Feb. 2, to take on No. 15 Pitt at the Fitzgerald Field House.
The Mountaineers (1-7, 0-3 Big 12) are returning to the mat after being defeated by Rutgers last Friday evening and Iowa State in the program’s first Big 12 home match on Saturday afternoon.
“We have had our share of struggles this season, but a good amount of that can be contributed to the injuries that our lineup has had and the youth that we have in our lineup,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “In order to try to compete for a win this weekend, we are going to have to have a complete and total effort from each guy in our lineup, and that is something I don’t think we have gotten yet this season.”
One wrestler that has impressed Turnbull with his approach this season is junior Nathan Pennesi
. The Latrobe, Pa., native leads WVU with 19 victories and looks to earn his third consecutive season with 20-plus wins.
“Nathan’s body of work thus far this season should not be overshadowed,” Turnbull says. “He has beaten quality opponents. He is a wrestler that is willing to fight for each and every point in a match, and his preparation in the days prior to his matches is outstanding.”
In last weekend’s matches, Pennesi defeated two ranked opponents. On Friday night, he defeated No. 20 Trevor Melde, 7-2, and on Saturday afternoon, Pennesi was victorious over No. 19 Luke Goettl, 5-1.
The Mountaineers, who have had a total of six starters miss time due to various ailments this season, will again be without the services of Brutus Scheffel
Filling in for Scheffel will be Timothy Wheeling, Tre Miller-Scott
or Roman Perryman
Perryman received the starting nod against the Scarlet Knights, while Miller-Scott was in the lineup against the Cyclones.
“We are throwing some things at the wall and hoping that they will stick,” Turnbull says. “We’ve really been affected by not having Colin Johnston
at 100 percent, along with the other injuries that we have, but we did see some positives from him in his match on Saturday. Hopefully, we will continue to see those positives.”
Saturday’s non-conference meeting marks the first time since 1978 that the Panthers (7-4, 3-1 EWL) and the Mountaineers are not squaring off as Eastern Wrestling League foes.
WVU’s last win over Pitt, which was an 18-16 victory in 2007, came at the Fitzgerald Field House.
The two teams first met in 1934, with the Panthers holding a 31-24-2 advantage in the series.
Fans unable to attend the match are able to watch a live stream here
A full recap with results will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.Projected Starters
WVU (1-7, 0-3 Big 12)
125: No. 26 Shane Young
133: Colin Johnston
141: No. 12 Nathan Pennesi
149: Timothy Wheeling (4-5) OR Tre Miller-Scott
(6-10) OR Roman Perryman
157: Jason Luster
165: Dominic Prezzia
(5-8) OR Ross Renzi
174: Bubba Scheffel
184: No. 30 Lance Bryson
197: A.J. Vizcarrondo
HWT: Phil Mandzik
(8-13)No. 15 Pitt (7-4, 3-1 EWL)
125: Derrick Nelson (4-7) OR Godwin Nyama (2-7)
133: No. 16 Shelton Mack (13-6)
141: Travis Shaffer (7-8)
149: Ronnie Garbinsky (10-5)
157: Donnie Tasser (10-6) OR Troy Reaghard (10-9)
165: No. 13 Tyler Wilps (16-5)
174: Nick Bonaccorsi (13-5) OR P.J. Tasser (14-6)
184: No. 13 Max Thomusseit (11-2)
197: No. 2 Matt Wilps (15-1)
HWT: No. 7 Zac Thomusseit (19-2) OR Mike Gregory (1-4)