Wrestling: 2011-12 Schedule Released
- By Brian Kuppelweiser
- September 21, 2011 02:52 PM
West Virginia Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced today the 2011-12 wrestling schedule, which features five home matches at the WVU Coliseum.
“Coach Craig Turnbull has continually put together one of the top schedules in the country and this upcoming season is no different,” says Luck. “Given the success of the team over the years, we are able to find top-notch opponents that want to wrestle against us to receive quality competition. We are looking forward to watching the team excel this season.”
The schedule is highlighted by two non-conference meets against Big Ten foes Penn State and Michigan State, ACC rival Maryland and NWCA foe, Rutgers.
“We believe we have put together a very competitive schedule that will meet our needs and have our guys prepared to be able to pursue all of their goals at the end of the season,” says Turnbull. “The schedule is not put together to ensure that we have the strongest win-loss record, although that is always our goal.”
The Mountaineers will begin their season, Nov. 6, in College Park, Md. at the University of Maryland Duals, followed by the Washington & Jefferson Tournament and the Navy Classic.
After their first three dates, WVU will take its annual west coast road trip where it will compete in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and the Reno Tournament of Champions.
“We will get out to the west coast twice this season with those two tournaments,” Turnbull says. “While we are out there, we will see many of the top teams in the Midwest along with many of the top west coast teams.”
In between their two west coast trips, the Mountaineers will travel to State College, Pa., for a highly anticipated dual meet against the Nittany Lions.
“The marquee matchup on our schedule is probably Penn State,” Turnbull says. “They are the returning national champions and will be ranked No. 1 in the country at the beginning of the season. Penn State is a great place to wrestle a dual meet. They value wrestling and they understand wrestling. They will sell Rec Hall out, and it is a great opportunity for our guys to wrestle some of the best wrestlers in the country.”
WVU’s dual meet schedule kicks into full swing on Jan. 6 with its first home matchup against the Terrapins, which is followed up a week later with a meet against Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.
“Reigning ACC Champions Maryland will come into our gym, and that is a very good home match for us,” Turnbull says. “We will get into the Big Ten with a dual match at Michigan State.”
WVU will begin action in the Eastern Wrestling League with its dual meet against Bloomsburg on Jan. 21 and conclude conference competition with a dual meet against Cleveland State on Feb.19.
Annual meets against Clarion, Lock Haven, Pitt will be held at home, while a meet against Ohio is set to take place in Athens, Ohio.
The dual meet against the Panthers is always anticipated, and this year, it will be particularly important since Pitt is the defending EWL champion.
“The EWL is really challenging,” Turnbull says. “Pitts returns most of its team that won the league last year. First or second is generally the place we are, and this year, we would like that to be first. It is a very strong challenge with the team that Pitt is returning this year.”
The Mountaineer’s final two dates are the EWL Championships, which take place in Clarion, Pa., this season and the NCAA Championships, which will be held in St. Louis, Mo.
“The ultimate goal in putting our schedule together is that each one of our guys receives the preparation in competition and challenges throughout the year in order to place high at the NCAA Championships or winning a national championship at the end of the season,” Turnbull says.
West Virginia University