MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 4, 2021) – West Virginia University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Shane Lyons revealed the 2021-22 wrestling schedule on Monday.
After going 7-3 and receiving seven votes in the NCAA poll to end the abbreviated 2021 season, West Virginia’s wrestling team is back for a total of 16 events in a march toward another appearance at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
“The guys are really excited for this season,” coach Tim Flynn said. “We have a really good group of freshmen together with upperclassman that are a year older, a year stronger and a year better. There has been a lot of optimism since we arrived three seasons ago, and this season shall be no different.”
Flynn has installed a fourth-season slate filled with many obstacles along the journey to the postseason. Highlighting the 16 dates are seven duals against top-25 competition according to the latest InterMat team dual rankings, which includes home showcases against No. 12 Oklahoma in the home opener (Nov. 13), No. 3 Oklahoma State in the final tri-meet of the season (Jan. 16), and No. 13 Wyoming to close out the regular season.
“It is a real challenging schedule for sure, just with the Big 12 Conference alone,” Flynn explained. “Obviously you have Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State, and the addition of Wyoming becoming a top-20, top-15 program, but now we add two top-10 programs in NC State and Virginia Tech. You put that all together and we probably have one of the toughest schedules in the country.”
The Mountaineers challenge No. 6 NC State (Nov. 21) on the second day of a four-match road trip and No. 10, rival Virginia Tech (Jan. 9) in the second week of the new year, followed by No. 23 South Dakota State (Jan. 28), and No. 25 Iowa State in a pair of Big 12 duals as part of 11 events away from the Coliseum.
To begin the season, West Virginia travels to Clarion, Pennsylvania, to participate in the Clarion Open for the first time since 2017-18.
After taking on the Sooners in the home opener, West Virginia turns its attention to the first of two four-match road trips that covers three states in three weeks. The road trip starts in North Carolina against Davidson on Nov. 19, before the showdown with NC State two days later.
The team continues onto Athens, Ohio, to open the month of December with Ohio University on the Dec. 5 prior to visiting Lexington, Virginia, on Dec. 12, to face the VMI to finish the trip.
WVU returns to Morgantown to run its first tri-meet of the season, playing host to two nonconference opponents in Cleveland State and Chattanooga on Dec. 20, to close the doors on 2021.
The Mountaineers open the New Year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the annual two-day Southern Scuffle from Jan. 1-2. Then, they head to Blacksburg, Virginia, to clash with rival Virginia Tech, along with Binghamton, on Jan. 9.
Jan. 16 marks the final tri-meet of the season as the squad welcomes in the defending Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma State as well as the Ivy League’s Columbia University to wrap up nonconference action.
Two weeks later, the wrestling program embarks on its final road trip of the season as it battles SDSU and North Dakota State in back-to-back days (Jan. 28-29) to close out the month of January. WVU transitions into February by squaring off against ISU one day prior to ending its time on the road against Northern Iowa on Feb. 5.
West Virginia hosts a pair of Big 12 competitors in Utah Valley on Feb. 12, followed by the showdown with Wyoming six days later in the season finale.
The Big 12 Championship returns to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the sixth-straight year on March 5-6. Two weeks later, the 2022 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships take place in Detroit, Michigan, for the first time in NCAA Championships history. Last time the NCAA Championships were held in the state of Michigan, former Mountaineer Brandon Rader completed back-to-back sixth-place finishes on his way to earning a second consecutive All-America honor at 141 pounds to end the 2006-07 season.
Date and time for the Mountaineers’ annual wrestle-offs are still to be announced.