MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team hits the road after taking last week off to compete at the Hoosier Duals in Bloomington, Ind., from Saturday, Dec. 7, to Sunday, Dec. 8.
“We have owed Indiana a visit for a while and coach (Duane) Goldman convinced me of the value of trying this for a year,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “In tournaments, our more experienced wrestlers get four or five matches, when the less experienced guys may only get a couple. This will guarantee everyone to get five matches. Win or lose, we need the opportunity to compete.”
The Mountaineers open competition against Drexel on Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. WVU’s second match of the day is with VMI at noon, and the Mountaineers conclude day one against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 2 p.m.
On Sunday, WVU and Indiana square off at 11 a.m., followed by Northern Colorado at 1 p.m.
The Mountaineers (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) have already eclipsed their win total from a year ago. WVU has posted a 3-0 mark while wrestling at neutral sites, with its only losses coming to the host schools, No. 15 Virginia and No. 16 Iowa State.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel
(174) leads the Mountaineers with 14 total wins through the month of November, 11 of which have come by fall. With two more pins, Scheffel will tie Scott Collins for the single-season program record set in 1991. Scheffel’s 16 dual-match points is a team high, and he is 3-2 in dual-meet bouts.
Senior Colin Johnston
(141) has posted the most dual wins this season, with a 4-1 record. His lone loss came to then-No. 12 Joe Spisak of Virginia on Nov. 2. Johnston has the second-most wins (13) and dual-meet points (13) on the team, and leads WVU with four major decisions.
Junior Brutus Scheffel
(157) is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out the Navy Classic. Scheffel is one of seven Mountaineers with a winning record in dual meets this season, and leads WVU with 15 takedowns in dual-meet bouts.
Senior Nathan Pennesi
(133) comes into this weekend after claiming a second-place finish at the Navy Classic, and is 2-0 in dual matches coming into this weekend. After winning five consecutive matches, Pennesi dropped his first bout of the year to then-No. 2 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin in the title match at the Navy Classic. After the 3-1 performance in Annapolis, Pennesi is ranked No. 20 in the AWN Top-20 for the first time this season. His highest ranking is No. 14 by D1CollegeWrestling and the Wrestling Report.
This weekend marks the first time in program history the Mountaineers battle against Drexel, Northern Colorado and SIUE. WVU is 16-5 all-time against VMI, with the last meeting in 1969. The Mountaineers are 3-6 all-time against the Hoosiers, with their last victory coming in 1991.
Results will be posted following each day of competition on WVUSports.com. For live results, follow WVU wrestling on Twitter @WVUWrestling.