UW Wrestling Set to host No. 9 Oklahoma State
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming wrestling team hosts No. 9 Oklahoma State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside the UniWyo Sports Complex. When the first Cowboy versus Cowboy match takes place Tuesday it will mark less than 48 hours since Wyoming last competed.
The Pokes participated in the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday. Many starters battled in anywhere from four to six matches, making a quick turnaround quite challenging.
“This is one of those things that’s going to test your mental toughness,” head coach Mark Branch said. “Guys finished a long day of wrestling and had to turn around and start cutting weight already. You’d like to rest after a tournament and lick your wounds and heal up a little bit, but we don’t really have time for that.”
Oklahoma State’s starters haven’t taken part in a competition in over a week. That gives them an advantage in the rest category, however, Branch isn’t dwelling on that fact.
He’s viewing Tuesday as a chance to showcase his team’s toughness.
“It gives us an opportunity to rise to that occasion and fight through it,” Branch said. “We are wrestling one of the best teams in the country, and we don’t have a lot of time to turn around and prepare for them, so we just have to buck up.”
Oklahoma State ascended into the top-10 last week. The Cowboys are off to a 3-0 start, which includes a 1-0 mark in Big 12 action.
They boast a ranked wrestler at all 10 weight classes. Digging a little deeper, and Oklahoma State owns a top-10 grappler at four weights and a top-three guy at three classes.
Wyoming lays claim to four ranked wrestlers. No. 11 Jore Volk (125) leads the way, but that designation is from a week ago – new rankings aren’t released until Tuesday. Volk’s resume grew much stronger over the weekend after beating No. 1 Richard Figueroa of Arizona State in the title bout at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
No. 15 Joey Novak (197), No. 18 Gabe Willochell (149) and No. 31 Cole Brooks (141) round out the ranked Cowboys. Novak placed second in Reno, Willochell third and Brooks didn’t compete.
The Pokes are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 this season. They fell at Oklahoma State last year, 34-3. The last time the two teams met in Laramie, the 2021-22 season, Oklahoma State claimed a 30-3 victory.
Following the dual against the Cowboys, Wyoming closes out its regular-season invitational schedule after Christmas. The Pokes participate in the Soldier Salute Tournament in Coralville, Iowa, from Dec. 29-30.
From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things
Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns
- From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things