Wolverines ready to host No. 2 ranked Nittany lions.
Saturday night in the UCCU Center, the lights will be out except for one to as the UVU wrestling team takes on No. 2 Penn State to close out a weekend of great wrestling.
It’s not everyday that this chance comes around. That there are three teams coming to wrestle at Orem, with one of them being the defending national champions. UVU takes on North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Penn State, Feb. 10-11
There certainly is a lot excitement surrounding the opportunity of the nation’s best wrestling team coming to the UVU campus. The Wolverines wrestling team is looking to build on a program that’s already on the rise, according to 165-pounder Ethan Smith.
“This is big for the program,” Smith said. “We can showcase what we have and what direction we are going in. We are going against the number one team and defending champs. It presents what we have and what are going to be for the next few years.”
Utah Valley has been on the rise this year, having great wins and building upon UVU’s winning tradition. With a good showing against Penn State, it could push the program to new heights.
“Its huge. Look at us, a little university in Utah valley taking on the number one team,” 141-pounder Josh Wilson said. “We’re on the rise and getting more national recognition. It’s a huge step to have the number one team come here and duel us. Most schools can’t get that done.”
“ Hopefully we build on that and we get more ranked opponents and bring out the fans and the community,” Wilson said.
Having a great fan base would also help the Wolverines feel more confident at home. With such a high ranked opponent, it could seem like an overwhelming task. The odds might be against the Wolverines, 125-pounder Colby Christensen pointed to their hard training in recent weeks as a reason for optimism, one Wilson also expressed.
“No one is expecting us to give them much of a fight,” Wilson said. “If we just wrestle like we know how, we can be with a lot of those guys and give them great matches.”
The Wolverines have duels against North and South Dakota State on Friday to prepare them for their matches against Penn State, which takes place Saturday.
The two-day marathon marks the home finale for the Wolverines, who will take to the road for their final regular season match against Northern Colorado next week.
By Garrett Coleman