MORGANTOWN — Earning its second Big 12 Conference win in program history, the WVU wrestling team upset No. 18 Oklahoma, 24-12, on Jan. 4, at the Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (2-3, 1-1 Big 12) never trailed in the match, winning seven of 10 bouts to defeat the Sooners (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) for the first time in Big 12 action. The last time WVU topped Oklahoma was in 1986, at a neutral site, which was when the two squads first met in the all-time series.
“I have a history with Oklahoma, so it is very exciting for me,” said fourth-year coach Sammie Henan O.U. assistant head coach from 2009-’11. “Tonight’s victory also was a huge win for our program and a huge win for our guys. It’s special because it was a total team effort. We have another dual on Sunday, so we want to keep the momentum going.”
Redshirt junior Zeke Moisey set the tone for WVU, in the first bout of the evening, winning by fall over Christian Moody in 1 minute, 11 seconds at 125 pounds. Moisey avenged a loss to Moody at the Lindenwood Open, on Nov. 18.
The Mountaineers went on to claim the next two matches for the 12-0 advantage.. Redshirt freshman Matthew Schmitt (133) and junior Christian Monserrat (141) each won by decision.
Other WVU winners were redshirt sophomore Zachary Moore, at 157 pounds, and, in the last three matches of the night, freshman Brenden McRill, at 184; redshirt senior Jacob A. Smith (197) and sophomore Brandon Ngati (285).
WVU takes on No. 25 North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The Mountaineers open their season at 7 p.m. today, hosting No. 2-ranked Florida. All tickets and some concessions are $1. WVU students get in free with a valid student I.D. Get tickets at WVUgame.com or at the Coliseum Gold Gate Ticket Office.
The first 150 youths will get a free leotard T-shirt. The first 1,500 fans will get light-up sticks.
“We’ve been in various types of practice modes since August, and the team is ready to go,” seventh-year coach Jason Butts said. “I’m looking for 24 hit routines. We have more depth this year than we ever have, and they all have been working really hard. I just want to see them go out there, have fun, be confident and show off everything they’ve been working on in the gym.”
Tonight also is the season opener for the Gators. WVU and U.F. have met 15 times since 1982, and the Gators own a 13-2 advantage.
Twelve gymnasts return for the Mountaineers from a 13-10 showing. WVU finished third at the 2017 NCAA Morgantown regional.
WVU’s roster will feature two all-Americans in senior Zaakira Muhammad and junior Kirah Koshinski. Muhammad qualified for the 2017 NCAA championships in the all-around. Koshinski paced the Mountaineers on vault and floor last season.
Florida finished third at the NCAA meet. Five all-Americans return for third-year coach Jenny Rowland, including Alex McMurtry, who won the NCAA all-around title.
The Mountaineers will host “I Belong” Day on Jan. 28, when Baylor visits the Coliseum.
“I Belong” Day will be a celebration of diversity and inclusion in Morgantown. It is a collaborative effort betweenamongDepartment, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and WVU Student Organizations.
WVU and Baylor met in last season’s Big 12 tournament championship game, with the Mountaineers winning,77-66.
Organizations looking to be involved with I Belong Day may contact Pat Biondo, at Patrick.Biondo@mail.wvu .edu. Members of participating groups will get free “I Belong” T-shirts while supplies last.
Senior safety Kyzir White accepted an invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl, on Jan. 27, in Mobile, Ala.
The game will be televised on the NFL Network. It features the country’s best senior players and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South that are coached by the staffs of two NFL teams — the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos.
White was the second-leading tackler on the team, with 94, including 7.5 for loss and 66 solos. He collected three interceptions, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles.