WVU Wrestling Faces No. 18 Pitt in Home Finale

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 5, 2010) – The West Virginia University wrestling team will play host to No. 18/23-ranked Pitt on Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Mountaineers’ regular-season home finale. Action on “Senior Night” at the WVU Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.

The match has been designated “Dollar Night,” with all tickets and select concessions available for purchase for just one dollar. Admission to the match is free for WVU students with a valid student ID.

Prior to the match, WVU will honor senior student-athlete Mike Rowe.

“Pitt comes in having one of their most productive years,” coach Craig Turnbull says. “They have a balanced team that's competing at a national level consistently. We’re going to have to get best wrestling to out from 125 pounds to heavyweight to compete for the team win.”

The Mountaineers (2-7, 2-1 EWL) won their last dual match, defeating Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) opponent Lock Haven at home, 32-12, on Jan. 31. WVU won eight of the 10 bouts, including four by bonus decision. Rowe (149) and redshirt sophomores Kyle Eason (157) and Matt Weston (174) all won their first dual meet victories at their respective weight classes. Sophomore Colin Johnston, ranked 18th nationally at 133 pounds, won his third-straight match, while 125-pound freshman Shane Young won by a 4-0 decision for his fifth-straight victory. Redshirt senior Donnie Jones (165) recorded the fastest pin of the season, winning with a 37-second fall.

Johnston leads the team with an 18-3 overall mark, followed by Jones, who is 15-9 this season. Junior heavyweight Brandon Williamson and Young have continued strong performances, with each owning 12 victories apiece. Jones is tops on the team with 45 takedowns.

In their meeting last season at Pitt, the two teams finished in a 19-19 tie. Former Mountaineer heavyweight Dustin Rogers defeated Pitt’s Zach Sheaffer, 3-2, in the final bout to tie the team scores.

Pitt enters the match with a 14-1-1 overall mark, including a 3-0 record in EWL action – good enough for first in the league. In their last match, the Panthers blanked non-conference foe Millersville, 53-0, on Jan. 30. Of the 10 bouts Pitt won, five were by fall and two were by forfeit.

The Panthers currently have four wrestlers ranked in the Top 20 of their respective weight classes. Heavyweight Ryan Tomei headlines the group, ranked No. 6 by InterMat. Other ranked wrestlers are 125-pounder Anthony Zanetta (No. 19), 141-pounder Tyler Nauman (No. 18) and 197-pounder Matt Wilps (No. 18).

Nauman owns a team-best 15-0 mark, while Wilps is 15-1 and Tomei is 14-1.

The program is under the direction of 31st-year coach Rande Stotlemyer, who owns a 265-206-13 record with the Panthers. Last year, Pitt registered a 4-7-1 overall mark, with a 4-1-1 record in league action. The Panthers return two NCAA qualifiers in Conroy and Nauman.

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