West Virginia wrestling set to host first tri-meet of the season Monday

Gold and Blue Nation

Mountaineers in action at home for first time in 10 days

(WVU Today image)

The West Virginia University wrestling team plays host to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Cleveland State in its first tri-meet of the season on Monday, Dec. 20, at 10:30 a.m. ET. The two visitors will face off first, before WVU challenges UTC at noon and CSU at 1:30 p.m.

Fans can catch all of the action on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and keep up with live stats at Trackwrestling.
 
“Two tough teams, so we are excited to see growth and if these guys (our Mountaineers) are improving,” fourth-year coach Tim Flynn said. “We had finals week, so it was a tough week of preparation, but we’re excited to compete again.”

WVU (3-3) and UTC (3-3) clash for just the second time in program history, as the Mountaineers won, 21-19, over the Mocs in the first meeting back in 2015 at the Virginia Duals. They claimed back-to-back decisions at 184 and 197 to go up 21-16 with one bout left in the dual. Chattanooga’s heavyweight was limited to three points for a decision, which sealed the two-point victory for West Virginia.

One dual later, West Virginia and Cleveland State (2-2) compete against each other for the 37th time in history. The Mountaineers hold a 26-10 advantage over the Vikings after escaping with a 18-15 win in Cleveland last season. West Virginia fell behind 15-12 with two matches to go in the dual, before knotting it up at 15-15 heading into the final bout. As a freshman, Michael Wolfgram claimed a 6-3 win over redshirt sophomore John Kelbly at heavyweight to secure the team victory for the Mountaineers. Redshirt sophomore Jeffrey Boyd (141), sophomore Peyton Hall (165), and junior Scott Joll (174) secured decisions, while redshirt senior Killian Cardinale (125) scored a 9-1 major decision in the first match of the day in the win.

CSU won eight of the first 11 meetings against WVU from 1979-1989, including six consecutive victories to kick off the series. West Virginia responded by going on a 22-2 stretch since 1990 and is currently riding a 12-dual winning streak against Cleveland State that dates back to 2002.

In the polls, three Mountaineers rank among the top 25 by FloWrestling and InterMat publications. Cardinale remains No. 6/8, while Hall moved up to No. 12/13 with a 11-0 record. Wolfgram moved up one spot and now stands at No. 22 of FloWrestling’s heavyweight rankings. The York, Pennsylvania, native ranks two spots outside of the top 25 in InterMat’s rankings at No. 27.
 
Chattanooga and Cleveland State each have two wrestlers nationally ranked. UTC is represented by senior Fabian Gutierrez (125) at No. 20 on both lists and junior Drew Nicholson (165) at No. 32 on InterMat’s rankings. For CSU, redshirt sophomore Logan Heil (125) checks in at No. 32 on InterMat, while DeAndre Nassar (184) slides in at No. 24 on FloWrestling.
 
In accordance with the updated WVU policy effective Oct. 21, Mon. County Health Department and CDC guidelines, those who are not vaccinated will be expected to wear a mask properly above the nose while inside the WVU Coliseum with the exception of when eating and drinking.

As the Coliseum will return to normal operations WVU strongly encourages all fans to be vaccinated. A COVID-19 vaccination is the single-most important and successful tool to protect fans from the virus and its many variants. Increased vaccination rates, coupled with proven preventative measures such as masks, physical distancing, self-symptom monitoring, COVID-19 testing and good personal hygiene (e.g. hand-washing and hand sanitizer), are the proven tools fans can use to fight COVID-19 and the spread of the disease to others.

All fans should self-evaluate prior to the event or before arriving at the WVU Coliseum. Fans who might be sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and contact a physician. The athletics department, in conjunction with local, state and University officials will continue monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and make changes to the WVU Coliseum protocols, if needed, based on current health conditions.

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