Following a pair of double-doubles in two Big 12 Conference wins, sophomore forward Esmery Martinez of the West Virginia University women’s basketball team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.
Martinez averaged 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in WVU’s victories against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State last week. She scored 18 points and hauled in 15 rebounds against TTU, before finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds against OSU. The Hato Mayor Del Ray, Dominican Republic, native also shot a team-best 52.5% from the field last week and was one of two Mountaineers who were perfect at the free-throw line. She also tallied five steals and three blocks for WVU last week.
Martinez extended her double-double streak to seven games, while her nine double-doubles this season rank No. 1 in the nation. The sophomore forward’s nine double-doubles in 2020 also are the most in a season for a Mountaineer since Teana Muldrow in 2017, and the most by a WVU sophomore since Sarah Miles in 2009.
This Week in Gymnastics: The 2021 season commences on Friday, Jan. 22, at the WVU Coliseum, with a meet against the 2019 NCAA National Champion and reigning Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma … competition is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET and will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ … due to safety precautions from the COVID-19 pandemic, only essential game operations personnel and families of the gymnasts and gymnastics staff will be admitted into the arena.
Last Season in Gymnastics: The Mountaineers finished the 2020 season with 11 wins … WVU was nationally ranked twice in the Road to Nationals Rankings, with the floor lineup finishing the year ranked No. 24 nationally … at season’s end, sophomore Abbie Pierson ranked inside the top 10 on vault in the Big 12, tying for ninth overall with a national qualifying score of 9.84 … WVU registered four top-50 scores, including a season-high 196.425 in wins over Pitt and Rutgers on March 1, at the WVU Coliseum … WVU also tallied 49.225 on balance beam, the mark was the fourth-best score in program history … the Mountaineers counted a fall in only one meet and hit 24-for-24 routines six times … twelve of the 16 Mountaineers who saw competitive time reached the podium … sophomore Kianna Yancey and Pierson paced WVU with 10 podium finishes each, while junior Kendra Combs earned eight podium finishes.
Notes: WVU is scheduled to compete in six conference meets and will conclude its regular season with a trio of head-to-head competitions against Pitt … West Virginia’s postseason slate starts with the 2021 Big 12 Gymnastics Championship, set for March 20, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown … WVU was set to host last year’s event, but its season was cut short just before the conference championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic … all nine returners earned time in at least one lineup last season … the Mountaineers also welcomed six freshmen to Morgantown: Chloe Asper, Ellen Collins, Gillian Fletcher, Agatha Handono, Kiana Lewis and Nicole Norris.
This Week in Rifle: No. 4 West Virginia opens the home season against No. 13 Ohio State on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the WVU Rifle Range, in Morgantown … Saturday’s match is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Last Week in Rifle: WVU opened the 2021 season with a 4715-4665 win over Akron on Jan. 16… the Mountaineers (1-0, 1-0) swept the Zips (4-3, 2-2) in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2333-2307, and air rifle, 2382-2358 … in her Mountaineer debut, freshman Molly McGhin took first place with a combined score of 1180 … she was followed by sophomore Calista Smoyer, who topped her personal best (1170) with a 1178 combined score … seven Mountaineers finished inside the top 10 in both the smallbore and air rifle standings, with three being freshman … freshman Tal Engler finished first in smallbore with a 586 mark (195 kneeling, 200 prone, 191 standing) … freshman Matthew Sanchez placed first in air rifle with a 598 mark (99-100-100-99-100-100) … with the win, WVU improved to 19-0 all-time against the Zips.
Notes: WVU and Ohio State meet on Saturday for the 47th time since 1974 … the Mountaineers hold a 47-0 winning streak over the Buckeyes … WVU took a 4710-4652 win in its last meeting against OSU on Feb. 1, 2020 … Ohio State will be hosting the 2021 NCAA Qualifying Match, as well as the 2021 NCAA Championships.
This Week in Swimming and Diving: West Virginia is off this week … the Mountaineers return to action for Senior Day on Jan. 29-30, as they play host to Notre Dame for a two-day dual meet, at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park, in Morgantown.
Last Week in Swimming and Diving: The Mountaineers opened the 2021 season with a two-day dual meet against Pitt … the Panthers handed WVU a pair of losses, as the men’s team fell, 193-107, and the women were defeated by a score of 173-127 … the competition opened with the two diving squads going head-to-head at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park … WVU topped the leaderboard in three events, with junior PJ Lenz securing a pair of wins and sophomore Holly Darling earning a victory on 3-meter … Lenz led the way in a 1-2-3 Mountaineer finish on 1-meter, notching a score of 363.23, before earning a second win on platform with a 334.95 total … Darling secured the third win for the Mountaineers on women’s 3-meter with a score of 306.08 … on the second day of competition at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, seniors Ally VanNetta and David Dixon led the way for the WVU swimmers, notching two victories apiece … VanNetta’s wins came in the 100 back (55.12) and 200 back (1:58.61), while Dixon added victories in the 100 fly (47.84) and 200 fly (1:44.25) … sophomore Harna Minezawa also added a pair of first-place finishes in the 50 free (23.13) and 100 fly (54.67), while freshman Jordan Buechler (1:49.33) and senior Max Gustafson (1:49.33) tallied wins for WVU in the 200 freestyle.
Notes: The West Virginia divers broke a pair of school records last week … in her Mountaineer debut, freshman Sara Haggerty broke the women’s platform record, notching a mark of 254.03 to break Darling’s 2020 record of 231.65 and place second … Lenz also broke a program record on 3-meter, earning a second-place score of 396.98 to break the previous record of 390.80, set in 2018 … sixteen newcomers made their Mountaineer debut during the Backyard Brawl … last week’s competition marked the 27th consecutive meeting between WVU and Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.
This Week in Women’s Basketball: The Mountaineers play host to Kansas State on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown … tip-off against the Wildcats is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET … Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Nick Farrell, Meg Bulger and Anjelica Trinone on the call … West Virginia is 12-6 all-time against Kansas State, including 6-2 in Morgantown.
Last Week in Women’s Basketball: WVU earned a pair of Big 12 Conference home wins last week over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State … West Virginia defeated the Lady Raiders, 83-78, on Jan. 13 … redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick led the Mountaineers in scoring for the fourth consecutive game against TTU, tallying 19 points … sophomore forward Esmery Martinez led WVU in rebounding in the victory, hauling in 15 boards … West Virginia then defeated the Cowgirls, 67-59, on Jan. 16 … sophomore guard Kirsten Deans scored a team-high 18 points in the win, while Martinez paced WVU on the glass for the 10th consecutive game, with 10 rebounds.
Notes: West Virginia is 131-91 against its 2020-21 opponents, including 97-78 against members of the Big 12 Conference … WVU is currently on a five-game win streak, its longest of the season, and has won four straight Big 12 contests … West Virginia’s current win streak also is the longest active streak in the Big 12 … Gondrezick currently leads the Mountaineers in scoring, with a total of 224 points and an average of 20.4 per game … the Benton Harbor, Michigan, native has scored 20 or more points in seven games this season … Martinez is pacing WVU in the rebounding department this season, with 13.2 boards per game … she also has tallied a double-double in seven consecutive games … her nine double-doubles this season also lead the team and rank No. 1 in the nation.
This Week in Wrestling: WVU (3-2, 0-1) will take a week off before competing against Big 12 affiliate Northern Colorado (3-0, 2-0) on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 12 p.m. ET, inside the WVU Coliseum.
Last Week in Wrestling: West Virginia posted a 29-3 win over Bucknell before dropping a 21-9 match to No. 19 Oklahoma on Jan. 17, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown … redshirt junior Noah Adams, who sits in the top spot at 197 pounds by a trio of media outlets, claimed a pair of victories over Bucknell’s Luke Niemeyer and Oklahoma’s Jake Woodley, who is ranked as high as No. 12 by Intermat, to improve to 5-0 on the year and extend his win streak to 37, which dates back to Nov. 3, 2019 … redshirt freshman Anthony Carman also notched a 2-0 record on the weekend, topping Sam Barnes of Bucknell and No. 31 Darrien Roberts of Oklahoma … additionally, freshman Peyton Hall took down his second ranked opponent of the year, defeating No. 26 Jake Stiles of Oklahoma in a 2-1 decision.
Notes: WVU and UNC will meet for the sixth time since 2014 … West Virginia owns a 4-1 all-time series advantage, with the Mountaineers’ last win taking place on Nov. 1, 2018, coach Tim Flynn’s first match at the helm of the WVU wrestling program … last season, West Virginia dropped a 31-10 contest at Northern Colorado on Nov. 16, 2019, with Adams (197) and redshirt sophomore Alex Hornfeck (157) each earning victories in their respective weight classes … Adams, a native of Coal City, West Virginia, paces the Mountaineers with 20 team points this season.