NORMAN – The Sooners hit the road for the first time this season when they travel to Morgantown, W.Va., for a tri-meet with West Virginia (Big 12) and Bucknell Bison (EIWA) on Sunday afternoon. No. 19 Oklahoma will look to pick up its first win of the season in both out of conference and Big 12 play.
Oklahoma will wrestle the Bison first at approximately 2:30 p.m. CT and then finish the day with a dual vs. the Mountaineers immediately after at 4 p.m. Both duals will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Rosselli's squad returns all but one wrestler who saw action in 2019-20, featuring a lineup that showcases six NCAA qualifiers, two All-Americans and a pair of UWW/U23 national champions. The Sooners added 2019 ACC Freshman of the Year Mitch Moore to the roster via transfer from Virginia Tech. Moore is a two-time NCAA qualifier at 141 pounds and will compete for the Sooners at 149 pounds.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners dropped a hard-fought dual with No. 11 Arizona State in Norman in the season opener. Oklahoma won matches at 141, 149, 157 and 184 to finalize the score at 20-12. Dom Demas and Justin Thomas both secured ranked wins.
The Sooners qualified six for the 2019 NCAA Championship, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has six returning qualifiers: Tony Madrigal (133), Dom Demas (141), Mitch Moore (149) via transfer, Justin Thomas (157), Anthony Mantanona (174) and Jake Woodley (197). Demas and Mantanona both finished as runners-up at the Big 12 Championships and earned All-American honors, bringing Oklahoma's All-American total to 276 all-time.
The team finished with a 5-7 record in dual action, but finished the year strong winning two of its final three duals and finished in sixth at Big 12s after tallying 83 team points, five more than in 2019.
SOONERS IN THE RANKINGS
The Sooners appear in all three major polls entering week two. The NWCA Coaches Poll tab Rosselli's squad as the No. 19 team heading into Sunday afternoon. Flo ranks OU No. 23 and Track Wrestling calls the Sooners No. 22. Intermat dropped Oklahoma one spot to No. 15 after the season opener.
The three primary individual rankings selected a host of Sooners to place inside the top 25. FloWrestling and Intermat both tab six Sooners as top-25 wrestlers in their respective weight class, while Track Wrestle ranks nine of the Sooners' 10 starters inside the top 33.
Flo Wrestling/Intermat/Track Wrestling
125: Mason Naifeh - NR/NR/NR
133: Tony Madrigal - 11/11/11
141: Dom Demas - 6/6/6
149: Mitch Moore - 13/18/14
157: Justin Thomas - 13/9/10
165: Jake Stiles - NR/NR/27
174: Anthony Mantanona - 9/11/11
184: Darrien Roberts - NR/NR/24
197: Jake Woodley - 13/12/14
285: Josh Heindselman - NR/NR/26
Before the WVU/OU dual wrestlers will have an opportunity to wrestle in extra matches for NCAA qualification purposes. The Sooners are sending Jordan Rosselli (133), Zack Zeamer (141), Cam Picklo (149) and Carson Berryhill (184).
For Oklahoma head coach Lou Rosselli and West Virginia head coach Tim Flynn, Sunday's dual is a personal one. Flynn served as an assistant coach at Edinboro during Rosselli's final two years as a wrestler for the Fighting Scots, and Rosselli spent 11 years as an assistant at his alma mater, including a stint under Flynn who was the Edinboro head coach for over 20 seasons.
The Sooners are 4-0 all-time vs. Bucknell with the first meeting coming in 2013-14. Oklahoma owns an all-time record of 8-2 vs. the Mountaineers and has won the last two meetings.
SCOUTING THE BISON
Bucknell enters Sunday without wrestling in dual format in 2021, but the Bison handled LIU and VMI with ease in a round-robin tournament a few weeks prior. The Bison racked up bonus points in 16 bouts, winning seven by fall, one by technical fall and eight by major decision. Their lineup is anchored by Zach Hartman who is ranked No. 9/11/9 at 165 pounds and Darren Miller who is ranked No. 24 at 133 by the Open Mat.
Bucknell recorded a 10-6 season in 2019-20 and finished seventh at the 2020 EIWA Championships.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia returns eight starters from its 2019-20 squad that compiled a 4-12 record, including a 1-7 mark in conference action. The team is led by Tim Flynn who is in his third year at the helm of the program.
A trio of Mountaineers are ranked in the latest polls, including unanimous No. 1-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds in Noah Adams. WVU also placed No. 17 Killian Cardinale (125) and No. 24 Peyton Hall (165) in this week's polls.
Following the WVU-tri the Sooners hit the road on Jan. 24 for a tri-meet in Cedar Falls, Iowa, vs. Northern Iowa and Iowa State in a pair of Big 12 duals.
(RANKINGS BY FLOWRESTLING)
|NO. 19 OKLAHOMA|
|133||No. 11 Tony Madrigal||0-1|
|141||No. 6 Dom Demas||1-0|
|149||No. 13 Mitch Moore||1-0|
|157||No. 13 Justin Thomas||1-0|
|174||No. 9 Anthony Mantanona||0-1|
|197||No. 13 Jake Woodley||0-1|
|165||No. 9 Zach Hartman||2-0|
|125:||No. 17 Killian Cardinale||1-2|
|165:||No. 24 Peyton Hall||3-0|
|197:||No. 1 Noah Adams||3-0|