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West Virginia Readies for Big Weekend on Mat in Oklahoma

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Tim Flynn’s Mountaineers have thrived through eight matches in 2022-23 by competing under the veteran coach’s mantra of staying even-keel and taking the season one day at a time.

West Virginia sits with a 7-1 dual meet record ahead of two key Big 12 Conference matchups this weekend.

The Mountaineers will first face Oklahoma on Friday night at the McCasland Field House in Norman before traveling to Stillwater to take on No. 12 Oklahoma State on Sunday afternoon inside the Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Going in, West Virginia is riding high.

The Mountaineers were victorious in seven of their first eight matches for the first time in 33 years, matching the start the 1990 team produced en route to finishing at 14-1.

West Virginia is currently on a four-match winning streak, matching the 2022 season’s mark for the longest stretch of victories in Flynn’s five-year tenure. The Mountaineers also rose one spot to No. 23 in this week’s AWCA Division I Coaches Poll following a 22-16 win over Chattanooga last Friday.

The appearance in the Top 25 is the Mountaineers’ first since the 2015-16 season.

West Virginia’s upcoming opponents, however, are also coming into the matchups on a strong note.

Oklahoma (6-3) has won three straight matches. The Sooners were defeated in their lone match against a ranked opponent, falling to No. 24 Maryland 18-16 on Jan. 13.

The Sooners have taken down the Mountaineers in four straight meetings, with West Virginia last earning a 24-12 victory in 2018.

Oklahoma State holds a 6-1 record as of Thursday evening and have also won three straight matches. The Cowboys claimed a first place finish out of 21 teams at the Southern Scuffle Tournament.

West Virginia has dropped six consecutive matchups with Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers were last victorious in 2014, defeating the Cowboys 30-6. The two teams have not met since 2019 and were scheduled to face each other last season, but the match was canceled.

The Mountaineers’ contest with the No. 12 ranked Cowboys is their third against a Top 25 opponent this season. West Virginia’s victory over No. 21 ranked Pittsburgh on Jan. 8 was the team’s first since 2021.

Under Flynn, West Virginia has also struggled while on the road, posting a combined 6-21 record away from the WVU Coliseum in his five seasons. The Mountaineers are 2-1 as visitors this season, with their Dec. 2 loss to No. 4 Missouri being their lone blemish on their schedule.

West Virginia’s 10-man lineup has given steady production so far this season, with eight recording 12-plus wins and nine holding above .500 records.

Peyton Hall, the No. 8 ranked wrestler at 165 pounds, is 16-2 with seven pinfall victories. No. 7 ranked Killian Cardinale is undefeated with a 6-0 record at 125 pounds after getting a late start to the season due to injury.

Friday’s matchup with the Sooners kicks off at 8 p.m. EST, before the meet with the Cowboys on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. EST. Both matches can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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