MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Jan. 30, 2021) – The West Virginia University wrestling team welcomes No. 17 Northern Colorado to Morgantown on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 12 p.m. ET, inside the WVU Coliseum.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols, and for the overall safety of spectators at indoor events, attendance will be capped at 1,000 spectators. Priority will be given to families and guests of the wrestlers and wrestling coaching staffs, along with a limited number of WVU students and fans.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME to avoid lines at the gate on match day. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each. At the ticket window on match day, any remaining tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. The discounted online pricing will be available until the start of competition.
The Mountaineer Ticket Office, as well as the Gold Gate, opens an hour before competition on match day. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid Student I.D. All tickets are reserved in blocks, ranging from one to six seats, and socially distanced. When purchasing tickets, the system will allocate the best seats available based on the quantity selected.
Facemasks will be required of all spectators entering the arena and should be worn at all times, with the exception of when eating and drinking.
Sunday’s quad will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, the conference’s digital platform, with Tony Onorato and Eric Little on the call. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $5.99 a month (or $59.99 per year) at ESPNplus.com, ESPN.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). It also is available as part of The Disney Bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu (ad-supported) — all for just $12.99/month.
“They (Northern Colorado) have a really solid lineup,” third-year coach Tim Flynn said. “Even the guys that aren’t their go-to guys have some experience. They are hard-nosed guys. I think they are going to have one or two guys out that are ranked, but I think their backups are solid guys. It provides us an opportunity. When you’re a freshman, redshirt freshman or sophomore, and you get a chance to wrestle another solid collegiate athlete, you are just raising your levels every week. Hopefully, our guys are excited. I think they are. We’ll see Sunday.”
The Mountaineers (4-2, 0-1) and the Bears (3-0, 2-0) meet for the fifth time overall on Sunday and the fourth time in league action since UNC joined five other schools as affiliate members of the Big 12 during the 2015-16 academic year. The two squads met once as nonconference opponents in 2013, with WVU claiming a 35-4 victory in its first meeting at the Hoosier Duals, in Bloomington, Indiana, on Dec. 8, 2013.
West Virginia owns a 3-1 lead in the all-time series. However, the Mountaineers dropped a 31-10 contest at Northern Colorado last season (Nov. 16, 2019). WVU’s last win over UNC took place on Nov. 1, 2018, Flynn’s first match at the helm of the Mountaineer wrestling program.
Redshirt junior Noah Adams, ranked No. 1 nationally at 197 pounds, and Jacob Seely of Northern Colorado will square off for the fourth time overall and the third time in dual action this weekend. Adams holds a 2-1 overall record against Seely, earning major decisions in both matches. The last time Seely captured a win over Adams was on Nov. 1, 2018, when the Coal City, West Virginia, native made his collegiate debut. Adams avenged his 12-9 loss with a dominating, 13-1 win at the 2019 Big 12 Championship.
Adams paces the Mountaineers with 23 team points and is tied for the team lead with 13 takedowns.
Redshirt junior Killian Cardinale and freshman Peyton Hall also are ranked inside the top 25 of several wrestling publications. Cardinale checks in at No. 24 in The Open Mat’s latest top-33 poll at 125 pounds, while Hall, a 165-pound grappler, ranks as high as No. 24 via FloWrestling for the third consecutive week.
Last week, West Virginia overcame a 15-13 deficit to defeat Cleveland State, 18-15, on Jan. 23, at Woodling Gymnasium, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Mountaineers won six of 10 bouts, including a bonus victory from Cardinale to start the match.
Northern Colorado returns to dual competition for the first time since Jan. 8. The Bears have seen their last three scheduled duals canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.
UNC has eight wrestlers in the individual rankings across the nation. Sophomores Mosha Schwartz (133) and Andrew Alirez (149) have the highest rankings on the team, as each wrestler sits at No. 7 via Intermat. The two are a combined 6-0 on the year.
Looking ahead, WVU opens the month of February on the road, as the Mountaineers head to Laramie, Wyoming, for a dual against Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. ET. Following its match against the Cowboys, WVU travels to Greeley, Colorado, for a pair of neutral-site matches against Air Force (9:30 p.m. ET) and Fresno State (10:45 p.m. ET) later that evening.
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: WVU Sports