April will be a big month for many Mountaineer teams, as they progress in Big 12 play. The West Virginia baseball team will have series with ranked Big 12 opponents, while the WVU tennis and golf teams are preparing for the Big 12 Championships. The WVU gymnastics team is also looking to make a run in the NCAA Championship, as the Mountaineers begin regionals later this week. Let’s take a closer look at the top five games for WVU athletics this month!
Honorable Mention: Baseball vs Pitt (April 3)
After two big wins over #19 Oklahoma, the WVU baseball team will take on Pitt in its next game. The Mountaineers are currently 16-11, with only one of those losses being at home, so home-field advantage could help the Mountaineers in this season’s first iteration of the Backyard Brawl. The Panthers have been struggling this season with an 8-18 overall record, and 2-10 record in ACC play. Last season when Pitt visited Morgantown, WVU destroyed the Panthers in a 12-1 victory. Hopefully the Mountaineers can come away with a similar result later this week, and continue their current win streak.
5. Baseball vs #18 Texas Tech (April 12-14)
Later this month, the difficulty of Big 12 play will increase for the Mountaineers. This weekend series with #18 Texas Tech will be a tough one for WVU. The Red Raiders are currently 18-7 overall, but they are off to a slow start in conference play with a 3-3 record. Texas Tech only has three road losses this season, but all three have come through Big 12 play, which could be a good sign for a Mountaineer team that plays well at home. If sophomore Tyler Doanes and senior Darius Hill can continue leading the way for the Mountaineers offensively, WVU will have a chance to win another series against a ranked Big 12 opponent which could be a great confidence booster and resume builder for the Mountaineers.
4. Baseball at #13 Texas (April 26-28)
April will get even harder for the WVU baseball team with this series against #13 Texas. The Longhorns have started a three-game winning streak, after sweeping Xavier, and currently sit at 20-11 overall and 3-3 in Big 12 play. Texas has also played well in Austin this season, so the Mountaineers will have to bring their best effort for this weekend series. Juniors Nick Snyder, Alek Manoah, and Kade Strowd have been some of WVU’s leading pitchers this season. All three Mountaineers currently have winning records. WVU will need solid pitching, fielding, and batting, if the Mountaineers want to win this road series at Texas. All three games in this series will be televised on the Longhorn Network (LHN).
3. Tennis in Big 12 Championship (April 18-21)
Big 12 play has not been kind to the West Virginia women’s tennis team. The Mountaineers are yet to win a conference match, but they are back on track after winning easily in their final two nonconference matches at home against California (PA) and Towson. Now that WVU has a winning streak, it can hopefully carry that momentum into the remainder of Big 12 play, and then into the conference tournament. Before the Big 12 Championship, WVU will take on #8 Kansas and #9 Texas, which will provide the Mountaineers with opportunities to see how they are stacking up against the top teams in the conference. In singles, sophomore Anne-Sophie Courteau and freshman Anastasia Bovolskaia have led the way for WVU with 9-5 records. In doubles, the duos of Anne-Sophie Courteau with Abigail Rosiello and Anastasia Bovolskaia with Sofia Duran have led the way with 5-3 and 4-2 records, respectively. If these Mountaineers can continue to play well, they could help lead their team in a run during the Big 12 Championship.
2. Golf in Big 12 Championship (April 26-28)
The WVU golf team is coming off of a top ten finish in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Sophomores Matthew Sharpstene and Logan Perkins led the way for the Mountaineers at the Hootie. Now WVU has two more tournaments before the Big 12 Championship. This year, for the first time ever, the Big 12 Championship will be played here in the Mountain State.
WVU and The Greenbrier will be hosting the Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship in White Sulphur Springs on the Old White TPC Course. The Big 12 has continued to be one of the nation’s best golf conferences this year. #1 Oklahoma State, #2 Oklahoma, #7 Texas, #14 Texas Tech, and #20 Baylor are the five Big 12 teams that are currently ranked. Hopefully the Mountaineers will play well in their home state and bring home the Big 12 title later this month.
1. #27 Gymnastics in NCAA Championships – Second Round (April 5)
The great season for the #27 West Virginia gymnastics team is not over yet. The Mountaineers entered the postseason ranked #13 on floor exercise and #20 on vault. Now they are set to compete in the second round of the NCAA Championships later this week. WVU is coming off of a fourth place finish at the Big 12 Championship. The team has been led by senior, and First Team All-American, Kirah Koshinski, who has had an amazing season on vault. In this round of the NCAA Championships, Koshinski and the Mountaineers will face #2 UCLA, #15 Nebraska, and the winner of the first round matchup between Illinois and Central Michigan. If the Mountaineers can beat out these tough opponents, they will compete in the Regional Final on the following day.
With the WVU golf and tennis teams heading towards the Big 12 Championships, and the gymnastics team beginning competition in the NCAA Championships, April will be a busy month for these Mountaineer teams that are in postseason play. Hopefully these WVU teams can bring some hardware back to Morgantown this month.