WVU to Open Big 12 Slate in Oklahoma
STILLWATER, Okla. (January 15, 2015) – The No. 23 West Virginia University wrestling team will travel to Oklahoma this weekend for a pair of Big 12 duals, first facing No. 8 Oklahoma State on Friday evening before taking on Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon.
The Mountaineers (6-5, 0-0) will face their first Big 12 test of the season against the Cowboys (3-3, 0-0) at 8 p.m. ET Friday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The will then head to Norman for a 3 p.m. ET dual with the Sooners (2-3, 0-0) at McCasland Field House.
“This is a great opportunity to compete in Oklahoma this weekend. Our men have been on the road and battling for several weeks, so this is a great chance for us to battle several ranked opponents,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “I expect this team to continue to make gains on our competition, and we need to do it here in Big 12 action in Oklahoma.”
The 2015 season will be the 10th all-time meeting between the Cowboys and the Mountaineers, who first squared off in 1927. The two became conference foes in 2012 when West Virginia joined the Big 12. The Cowboys have taken all nine prior meetings, including a 30-6 match up in Morgantown last season. This season, Oklahoma State enters the dual ranked eighth in the country with eight nationally ranked grapplers in the lineup, headlined by No. 1 Alex Dieringer at 165 pounds and No. 4 Josh Kindig at 149. Dieringer was the 2014 National Champion at 157 pounds.
For the sixth time in program history, West Virginia and Oklahoma will square off on Sunday in Norman. The series first started in 1986, with the Mountaineers claiming a 30-15 victory. However, the Sooners have taken the last four tilts, including a 19-15 win in Morgantown last season.
The Mountaineers have broken into the national rankings, earning the 23rd spot according to the NCAA and the 25th spot on InterMat’s College Wrestling Dual Meet Rankings list released on Tuesday. The Mountaineers, who are 6-5 overall, claimed the 25th spot after downing then-No. 25 Bucknell, 19-15, at last week’s Virginia Duals in Hampton, Virginia. The squad took six bouts from the Bison, including a 16-7 major decision by Parker VonEgidy over Rory Bonner at 174 pounds.
WVU improved to 6-5 on the season with a 3-1 showing at last week’s Virginia Duals in Hampton, Virginia. The squad started things off with a 21-19 win over Chattanooga, highlighted by Moisey’s pin at 125. After a 21-16 loss to No. 14 Edinboro, West Virginia bounced back for a 19-15 victory over No. 25 Bucknell. The Mountaineers then got another chance at Arizona State, edging the Sun Devils 21-20.
Henson and company may have been disappointed in starting the new era with a 19-13 loss to former WVU assistant Zeke Jones and Arizona State, but the squad came back to take two in a row from the Sun Devils. After earning a 22-12 victory on January 4 in Tempe, West Virginia earned another go-around with ASU less than a week later on Saturday at the Virginia Duals. Zeke Moisey opened the dual with a pin of Ares Carpio at 125 - his second pin of Carpio in less than a week. Cory Stainbrook added another pin at 133 and the Mountaineers took three more matches to earn a 21-20 victory over their newfound rivals.
The Virginia Duals started off with a bang for the Mountaineers, as 125-pound Zeke Moisey sent No. 10 Sean Boyle of Chattanooga to the mat in 2:27. It was the freshman’s fourth pin of the season and his second in a row as he had won by fall over Ares Carpio of Arizona State earlier in the week. Ironically, he pinned Carpio again on Saturday to claim his fifth pin of the year. Moisey also has a trio of major decisions and a pair of tech. falls for a total of 10 bonus-point victories this season.
Ross Renzi and Jake A. Smith both posted impressive 4-0 showings at the Virginia Duals last weekend. Renzi started off with a first-period pin of Justin Lampe (UTC) before claiming a 6-4 decision over Casey Fuller (Edinboro) and an 8-4 decision over Rob Schlitt of Bucknell. He capped his weekend in dramatic fashion with an overtime takedown of Jacen Peterson (ASU) to claim the 6-4 sudden victory. Smith won a 3-2 decision over Scottie Boykin (UTC), a 5-2 decision over Vince Pickett (Edinboro), a 3-2 decision over Tyler Lyster (Bucknell) and a 3-2 decision over Josh Dasilveira (ASU).
Moisey needs one more win to etch his name in the WVU record books for wins as a freshman. The Northampton, Pennsylvania, native currently boasts 22 victories on the season. A 23rd win would tie him with David Jauregui (2006) for 10th-place on the freshman wins list. The freshman record for wins is 34, which was set by Greg Jones in 2002. Three more wins will tie him for fifth place on the single-season win list for 125 pounds.
One season after breaking the single-season pins mark, junior Bubba Scheffel is working his way up the career pins list. With four wins by fall on the season, Scheffel is tied for third all-time with Matt Ryan (2009-12) with 23 career wins by fall. The program mark for career pins is 29, set by Ryan Kehler (1999-2002).
Senior Michael Morales is approaching the West Virginia record books for wins at 141. The Brick, New Jersey, native has racked up 24 wins thus far in his first season at his new weight. He needs three more to tie Whitey Chlebove (1998, 1999) for fifth-place with 27 wins.
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