Wrestling Gears Up for No. 5 Oklahoma State

  • By Jonathan Hevron
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  • January 17, 2014 11:20 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 17, 2014) – The West Virginia University wrestling team hosts No. 5 Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., in the WVU Coliseum.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel leads the Mountaineers with 24 wins this season.
“Oklahoma State is one of the better teams we have ever had come into the WVU Coliseum,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “This is a great opportunity for every person on our team. OSU is favored at every weight class, which gives us a great chance to improve our resume. This is a good opportunity for our wrestlers to develop, and we will come in and be prepared to wrestle.”
Saturday’s matchup between the Mountaineers (9-2, 0-1 Big 12) and the Cowboys (3-3, 0-1 Big 12) will be a Gold Rush, with all fans encouraged to wear gold in support of WVU. The Mountaineers look to defeat OSU for the first time in program history. In last year’s match, WVU fell to the Cowboys in Stillwater, 36-3.
The Mountaineers are off to their best start since 2002 and are currently on a six-match win streak. WVU is 1-1 this season against ranked opponents, falling at then-No. 17 Iowa State, 22-12, on Nov. 15, and defeating then-No. 25 Indiana, 22-21, on Dec. 8.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel (174) leads the Mountaineers with 24 wins this season, two shy of breaking into the program’s top 10 for wins by a sophomore. Scheffel already broke the single-season pin record this season, tallying his 12th, 13th and 14th win by fall at the Hoosier Duals in early December. He will face off against defending national champion No. 2 Chris Perry for the second time in his career. In last year’s dual, Perry won by decision over Scheffel, 8-3.
Senior Colin Johnston comes into Saturday’s match with a 10-1 record in dual matches and is currently on a seven-match win streak in dual competition. In WVU’s home opener against Lock Haven on Jan. 4, Johnston defeated then-No. 20 Dan Neff by decision, 12-7. Johnston leads the team with 24 takedowns to date.
Senior Nathan Pennesi (133) was the lone Mountaineer to earn a win against OSU last year. Pennesi defeated Julian Feikert by decision, 6-0. Pennesi is currently 14-5 and has four major decisions is season. He placed fourth at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 22, marking the fourth time in his career he placed at the event.
The Cowboys are coming off a 24-6 loss at No. 3 Iowa last weekend, winning only two of the 10 bouts. The 2013 NCAA Championships runners-up return five All-Americans, including the defending national champion at 174 pounds, Perry.