* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming wrestling team closes out its 2023-24 dual schedule this week. The Cowboys will celebrate Senior Day by hosting No. 21 Oregon State on Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the UniWyo Sports Complex.

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The Pokes have caught fire during the last month of the season. They’ve won four of their last five duals – all by double figures – to improve to 7-6 on the season and 5-4 in Big 12 action.

The late-season push has positioned Wyoming to have its best season, in terms of win percentage, since 2018-19. And while the rally has been impressive, head coach Mark Branch would like his team to strive for consistency throughout a dual come Saturday.

“We have shown some signs of growth this past month, but we have also shown some inconsistency,” Branch said. “This is a dual where we need to be consistent with our toughness. We need to fight for every point if we want to do something special with this opportunity.”

Oregon State’s lineup mirrors Wyoming’s in a lot of ways. The Beavers boast six ranked wrestlers, while the Cowboys have a quartet of ranked guys all at one of the six weights where a Beaver appears in the polls.

No. 10 Jore Volk (125) is slated to battle No. 11 Brandon Kaylor. The two have already met this season at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and Kaylor got the better of Volk via decision, 4-2.

No. 19 Joey Novak (197) takes on No. 28 Justin Rademacher. Novak defeated Rademacher via decision, 7-2, at the Reno Tournament of Champions last December.

No. 24 Gabe Willochell (149) faces No. 17 Nash Singleton, and No. 28 Cole Brooks (141) squares off against No. 14 Cleveland Belton to round out the projected ranked matchups Saturday. No. 3 Trey Munoz (184) and No. 16 Boone McDermott (HWT) make up the remaining ranked Beavers.

Oregon State is in the midst of a two-dual slide, having dropped Pac-12 matches to No. 18 Little Rock and No. 24 Arizona State by a combined five points. The Beavers sit at 5-5 on the season and 2-2 in league.

Oregon State claimed last year’s dual, 20-10, in Corvallis. The Beavers also claimed the most recent matchup in Laramie, downing the Pokes, 22-12, during the 2021-22 season.

As mentioned, Saturday is Senior Day. Three Cowboys – Kevin Anderson, Ridge Briggs and Colby Huynh – will be honored prior to the start of the dual.

Following Saturday’s action, Wyoming is back in action at the Cowboy Shootout on Feb. 18. That marks the final regular-season competition for the Cowboys before the Big 12 and NCAA Championships.

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