WVU Wrestling Travels to Ohio

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 13, 2010) – The West Virginia University wrestling team will break from Eastern Wrestling League action with a match at Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 14, in Saint Clairsville, Ohio. Action at the Health and Physical Education Center, located on Ohio’s East Campus, will start at 3 p.m. ET.

In their last match on Feb. 9, a pair of Mountaineers (2-8, 2-2 EWL) registered upset victories, but WVU fell at home to 18th-ranked Pitt, 19-15. Junior 197-pounder Kyle Rooney defeated 19th-ranked Matt Wilps, 5-2, while classmate Brandon Williamson defeated sixth-ranked Ryan Tomei, 2-1, at heavyweight. Sophomore Colin Johnston, ranked No. 18 at 133 pounds, senior Mike Rowe (149) and redshirt senior Donnie Jones (165) also recorded wins for the Mountaineers at their respective weight classes.

The Mountaineers are led by Johnston, who sports a 19-3 overall mark this season, including an 8-2 dual meet record. Jones is second on the team with 16 victories, followed by Williamson, who has 13. Jones is tops on the team with 48 takedowns, with Johnston holding the No. 2 spot with 33 this year.

"What I believe I'm seeing is we're getting better as the year goes on,” coach Craig Turnbull says. “Some of the guys are gaining confidence as they gain experience. I think I'm seeing a lot of incremental improvement to where we can continue to build on that right through the Eastern Wrestling League Championships."

Ohio enters the Sunday’s dual with a 10-4 overall mark, including a 2-1 Mid-American Conference record. The Bobcats wrestled 16th-ranked Kent State on Feb. 12 and fell, 17-16, at home. Ohio split the bouts at five apiece, but a Ken State win by technical fall at 133 pounds proved to be the difference in the Flashes’ victory.

"Ohio probably has one of their better teams,” Turnbull adds. “I was listening to their sports network on their web site, and their coach has characterized it as one of the finer teams they've had there. They have a very strong record. We've seen them at tournaments, and some of their wrestlers caught our eye. They're having a lot of success, and I think it'll be a similar match to all the ones we've competed in this year, where we're going to be the underdogs, but if we get our best wrestling out, we can compete for a win. They'll be a very worth opponent."

The Bobcats have three wrestlers ranked in InterMat’s Top 20 individual rankings: 141-pounder Germaine Lindsey (No. 11), 184-pounder Nick Purdue (No. 18) and 197-pounder Erik Schuth (No. 16). Purdue leads the team with 24 victories, while Schuth owns a 21-4 overall mark. Although not ranked, heavyweight Andy Hartshorn sports a 21-10 mark this season and has won his last four of his last five matches.

Ohio is under the direction of the 13th-year coach Joel Greenlee, who owns a 141-108-5 program record. Last year, he guided the team to a 9-9-1 overall mark, going 3-2 in league action. The Bobcats finished last in the MAC Championships and did not qualify any wrestlers for the NCAA Championships.

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