WVU Announces 2009-10 Wrestling Schedule

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Department

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (October 12, 2009) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Ed Pastilong has announced the 2009-10 wrestling schedule, highlighted by six home dual matches and the hosting of the 2010 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championships.

“Coach (Craig) Turnbull and the Mountaineers have put together an exciting and challenging schedule this season,” Pastilong says. “We are especially pleased to be hosting the EWL Championships to showcase our outstanding university and facilities.”

The Mountaineers open the year at the Washington & Jefferson College Open on Nov. 14, and then return to the Navy Classic, where selected Mountaineers will compete in Annapolis, Md., on Nov. 21 at the all-day event.

WVU will open its dual meet schedule with the annual “Sprawl & Brawl” – hosted by Binghamton – in Vestal, N.Y. The Mountaineers will first wrestle Wyoming, which had four NCAA qualifiers last season, at 11:30 a.m. WVU will follow with a match against Illinois, which finished eighth at the 2009 NCAA Championships, at 1:15 p.m.

After more than a week off, WVU will fly west to compete at the 28th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational from Dec. 4-5. Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Ohio State are just four of the 59 teams competing in Primm, Nev.

Coach Craig Turnbull’s squad then will wrestle its first home dual meet against Big Ten foe Penn State on Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. The Nittany Lions return five of their six NCAA qualifiers and eight of 10 starters.

Nine days later, WVU will fly back west to compete at the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev., on Dec. 20.

“As we’re getting everyone to wrestle from two to six matches in a weekend, it gives them less time to work out some things in the beginning of the season,” Turnbull says on wrestling in two top-tier tournaments. “To have a dual meet and then not wrestle again for another week – you’re at the beginning and you’re trying to get all of your timing and rhythm of the season together. Getting them a good amount of matches in early season tournaments is really helpful to get to our midseason form quicker.”

After the Reno Tournament, the Mountaineers will resume their dual meet schedule with two more Big Ten opponents. On Jan. 2, WVU will play host to Indiana at the Coliseum at noon. The team then travels to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State on Jan. 9.

WVU continues its road trip as it heads to Bethlehem, Pa., for a contest with Lehigh, which posted a 23-1 overall record in 2008-09.

On Jan. 22, WVU will wrestle EWL opponent Clarion at home at 8 p.m. to begin league competition. The Mountaineers also face Bloomsburg (1/24), Lock Haven (1/31) and Pitt (2/6) at home before hitting the road with a match against non-conference opponent Ohio on Feb. 14.

“I believe the Eastern Wrestling League schools are really making significant gains in their programs,” Turnbull adds. “We’ll have some very good challenges within the league.”

The Mountaineers wrap up their regular-season portion of the schedule with road matches against EWL opponents Cleveland State (2/19) and league and tournament dual meet champion Edinboro on Feb. 20.

On March 7, WVU will host the EWL Championships – a day long tournament, which will take place at the Coliseum.

The 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships will be held at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., from March 18-20.

“The schedule, in general, we feel very good about,” Turnbull says. “We have some good diversity of teams on there. We upgraded the schedule a little bit in some ways, where we added the Reno Tournament. I believe it’s a schedule that we’re looking forward to and will prepare us to be at our best at the end of the season.”

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