MORGANTOWN, W.Va, – The West Virginia University wrestling team travels to No. 17 Iowa State for its Big 12 Conference opener and the Harold Nichols Open this weekend.
“At this time of year, we are trying to get a lot of the technique in and go through a lot of repetitions,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “Iowa State is coming very early on the schedule this season, but we are excited to see where we look strong and competing. Iowa State has a strong, balanced lineup.”
The Mountaineers (2-1) begin the weekend with a dual meet against Midland University at 4:30 p.m. in Ames, Iowa, on Friday. At 8:30 p.m., WVU and the Cyclones meet up for the first Big 12 dual meet of the season. Both times are EST.
Following Friday's tri-meet, the Mountaineers and Iowa State will compete in the Harold Nichols Open on Saturday, Nov. 16, along with No. 2 Minnesota and South Dakota State.
Last season, the Cyclones defeated WVU at the WVU Coliseum, 30-3. Senior Nathan Pennesi
represented Mountaineers' three points, scoring a 5-1 decision over then-No. 19 Luke Goettl.
“Hopefully we go into this weekend and have a really good battle, and come out on top. If not, then we will continue to develop, and be better going into the rest of the season,” Turnbull says.
Junior Brutus Scheffel
(157) leads WVU coming into the weekend with seven wins. After earning two major decisions at the Virginia Duals on Nov. 2, Scheffel rattled off five consecutive victories at the Mercyhurst Laker Open to claim first place.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel
(174) is tied for second on the team with six wins. In his lone loss this year, Scheffel suffered a 3-2 decision to No. 13 Stephen Doty of No. 16 Virginia. In all six of his wins, Scheffel has won by fall, the quickest coming against Anderson's Brian Onofrio in 55 seconds.
Pennesi (133) is expected to make his season debut this weekend. He sat out the first two competitions of the season after making his third trip to the NCAA Championships last year. Pennesi leads all active Mountaineers with 75 victories over his career, and comes into the weekend ranked No. 14 by Wrestling Intercollegiate Newsmagazine, D1CollegeWrestling.net and the Wrestling Report.
Participating in this weekend's open, as ranked by InterMat, is the Cyclones' No. 4 Michael Moreno (165), No. 11 Tanner Weatherman (174), No. 7 Boaz Beard and No. 3 Kyven Gadson (197). Other ranked wrestlers in this weekend's competition include the Golden Gophers' No. 8 David Thorn (133), No. 4 Chris Dardanes (141), No. 6 Nick Dardanes (149), No. 3 Dylan Ness (157), No. 15 Danny Zilverburg (165), No. 5 Logan Storley (174), No. 2 Scott Schiller (197) and No. 1 Tony Nelson (HWT).