Basketball has come to an end for both the men’s and women’s teams at West Virginia, but there are still plenty of Mountaineer teams in action that will be playing in big games this month. The WVU baseball and women’s soccer teams both have multiple matchups against ranked opponents this month, while the gymnastics, golf, and tennis teams are preparing for postseason play. Let’s take a look at the top five games for Mountaineer athletics in April.
Honorable Mention: Baseball vs #12 TCU (April 30th-May 2nd)
The West Virginia baseball team had high expectations coming into this season, but those expectations have quickly diminished. WVU has started the season 10-9, but has a 2-1 record in conference play after winning its first Big 12 series against Kansas. The Mountaineers will end April with a tough conference series against #12 TCU. The Horned Frogs are 16-7 and have a perfect 3-0 record in Big 12 play. All three games in this series will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
5. Tennis at Big 12 Championship (April 22nd-25th)
The season has taken a bad turn for the West Virginia tennis team since Big 12 play started. After starting the year 3-0, the Mountaineers are now 3-6 after six straight conference losses. With that being said, WVU has a handful of matches left in the regular season to get back on track before the Big 12 Championship at the end of April. Junior Anastasia Bovolskaia and freshman Nadya Maslova have teamed up to be the Mountaineers’ most successful doubles pair with a 4-3 record in the first position. Bovolskaia is also in the first position in singles and has the best record on the team at 3-5.
4. Golf at Big 12 Golf Championship (April 26th-28th)
The West Virginia golf team has been moving its way up in each tournament this season. After finishing in 18th at the Florida Gator Invitational, WVU finished in 10th at the Seminole Intercollegiate, ninth in Texas’ George Hannon Intercollegiate, and seventh at Charleston’s Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. The team will conclude the regular season with the Mountaineer Invitational before heading to the Big 12 Golf Championship at the end of this month. The Mountaineers have been led by senior Mark Goetz, who has a 71.75 average and a low of 67, which are both the best on the team. The Big 12 is a fantastic golf league and currently has four ranked teams, with three being in the top 10, so WVU will need to play at its best during the conference championship.
3. Baseball vs #4 Texas Tech (April 16th-18th)
The WVU baseball team will be hosting one of the top teams in the country when #4 Texas Tech comes to Morgantown. The Red Raiders have won 19 of their last 20 games and currently have a 19-4 record. WVU’s biggest problem this season has been fielding. The Mountaineers currently have the worst fielding percentage in the conference with 0.962 and are also last in putouts. WVU freshman Mikey Kluska has led the team at the plate with a .342 average and 25 hits. Sophomore Victor Scott has also batted well, leading the WVU with a .574 slugging percentage, 17 runs, and 15 runs batted in. On the mound, senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf has led the Mountaineers with two wins, 28 innings pitched, and 30 strikeouts. He was also named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on March 29th. All three games in this series will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
2. #35 Gymnastics vs #33 Penn State in the NCAA Regional Championships (April 1st)
The Morgantown Regional of the 2021 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships is full of solid teams. #4 Michigan, #5 California, #12 BYU, #13 UCLA headline the region, and the host team West Virginia will be facing Penn State in the play-in round. The Mountaineers have had a great floor exercise lineup this season and have ranked in the top 25 nationally on floor for nine consecutive weeks. WVU also has three gymnasts ranked inside the top 100 nationally on floor. Sophomore Kianna Yancey and junior Rachel Hornung have led the Mountaineers this season with 272.25 and 271.575 total points, respectively. Horning also has the highest all-around average on the team this year, with 38.75. At the Big 12 Championship, WVU finished fourth behind #9 Denver, #1 Oklahoma, and #20 Iowa State, so it has experience going up against some of the top teams in the country. If the Mountaineers defeat the Nittany Lions in the play-in round of the NCAA Regional, they will join the group with #4 Michigan, #13 UCLA, and Kent State in the second round.
1. #7 Women’s Soccer vs #10 Virginia (April 3rd)
The #7 West Virginia women’s soccer team is undefeated in the spring portion of its season. Due to the pandemic, the Mountaineers only played against Big 12 opponents in the fall and now they are playing non-conference teams this spring, leading up to the rescheduled NCAA Championship. WVU’s most recent match was a 3-2 win over #5 Duke. Now the Mountaineers are preparing to face another ranked ACC opponent, #10 Virginia. The Cavaliers are 10-3-1 this season and, like the Mountaineers, are undefeated in non-conference competition this spring. Senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel has led WVU offensively this year. She has six goals and three assists, which are both tied for team highs. Four of Ferrer-vanGinkel’s six goals were game winners. Junior forward Alina Stahl also has six goals this season. The Mountaineer defense has been led by junior Jordan Brewster, who leads the team with 1,010 minutes played and has started in every game. WVU will be hosting UVA in this match on April 3rd, and it will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. The two top ten teams will face off again on ESPN+ one week later in Charlottesville to round out the regular season for both squads.
Be sure to tune in to support the Mountaineers in these big games throughout the month! And let us know what other games WVU fans should mark on their calendars.