More Tough Competition on the Way for WVU Wrestling Team
After nearly a month away from the WVU Coliseum, the West Virginia wrestling team is back in Morgantown for two dual meets this weekend.
The Mountaineers (7-3, 1-3 Big 12) will take on No. 3 ranked Iowa State at 7 p.m. Friday night before matching up with No. 14 Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
⛰️ Mountaineers Ready for the Weekend ⛰️
PREVIEW: 📰 ⤵️#HailWV https://t.co/1RYDYvLEEa
— WVU Wrestling (@WVUWrestling) February 2, 2023
“A pair of highly ranked teams coming to the WVU Coliseum, you gotta be excited for that,” West Virginia fifth-year coach Tim Flynn said in a release. “(It’s) two teams that have always been good with (a) great history, so we are excited to compete against them.”
West Virginia is returning home from back-to-back matches in Oklahoma, where the Mountaineers were defeated by conference opponents Oklahoma on Jan. 20 and then-No. 12 Oklahoma State on Jan. 22.
The losses knocked the Mountaineers out of the Top 25 in the AWCA Division I Coaches Poll, their first appearance in the rankings since 2016, but West Virginia still received 22 votes for this week’s edition.
Friday will mark the team’s first dual meet since the loss to the Cowboys and their first home matchup since a 28-9 win over Ohio on Jan. 9.
Iowa State (12-2, 5-0) enters having won five consecutive meets since falling to No. 1 ranked Penn State on Dec. 20. The Cyclones defeated Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in its last two matches.
For the first time on Friday night, we'll be rocking our new camo singlets.
Purchase your 🎟 now to watch us take on #4 Iowa State -> https://t.co/fzNGTkQ8ZA pic.twitter.com/fvjaMpX1A8
— WVU Wrestling (@WVUWrestling) January 31, 2023
Under sixth-year head coach Kevin Dresser, the Cyclones have won four straight matchups against the Mountaineers, with the most recent being a 31-9 victory last season in Ames, Iowa.
West Virginia junior Peyton Hall recorded one of the Mountaineers’ wins in the match with a 4-3 decision over Isaac Judge. Hall, who is currently ranked No. 11 at 165 pounds by FloWrestling, will now likely take on David Carr, Iowa State’s defending national champion.
Northern Iowa has won three of its last five meets. The Panthers (5-3, 3-2) have defeated West Virginia in all three of the teams’ matchups dating back to 2019, which was the first meeting between the pair since 1991.
The Mountaineers fell to Northern Iowa 31-10 last season on the road. Hall, Killian Cardinale (No. 9 ranked at 125 pounds) and No. 19 heavyweight Michael Wolfgram all scored victories for West Virginia in the match, and will again be in the lineup on Sunday.
Facing ranked opponents hasn’t fared well for the Mountaineers in the past five seasons under Flynn. West Virginia has posted a combined 3-24 record against Top 25 teams, including a 1-2 mark this season.
But, the Mountaineers are looking to continue their strong run inside the WVU Coliseum, having been victorious in all five meets at home this season, compared to going 2-3 on the road.
Both matches can be streamed live via Big 12 Now on ESPN+.