PHILADELPHIA – Penn announced its 2013-14 wrestling schedule today, a slate highlighted by Penn’s first trip to the Grapple at the Garden in Madison Square Garden, the Red and Blue’s first trip to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the Southern Scuffle and an opportunity to host the EIWA Championships on home mats in The Palestra with NCAA bids on the line.
“This is a schedule designed to test our team and prepare us for what we hope to be a successful postseason run in March,” head coach Rob Eiter said. “It is important that we go out in search of the best competition and we feel that goal has been met. I know our guys are excited to get on the mats and show what they are made of.”
The 2013-14 season will begin for Penn at the East Stroudsburg Open on Nov. 17, the first time Penn will compete in the ESU Open since 1994.
The next week, Penn will again host its annual tournament, the Keystone Classic. The 19th Keystone Classic will feature 12 teams, including American, Appalachian State, Arizona State, Bloomsburg, Boston University, Harvard, Indiana, N.C. State, Northwestern, Pitt and Rider in addition to the host Quakers. Last year, Canaan Bethea and C.J. Cobb won Keystone titles for Penn, and a total of 38 wrestlers who went on to compete in the NCAA Championships wrestled in the Keystone Classic – including nine of the 10 champions and 14 of 20 finalists.
“The Keystone Classic is again going to be a challenging field,” said Eiter. “It truly is a national event and a great early-season test for our wrestlers to get a feel for what it will take to secure a high finish later in the season.”
The first day of December will be a first for the Penn Wrestling program as the Quakers will head to the Big Apple for the second Grapple at the Garden event in Madison Square Garden. The Red and Blue will square off with new EIWA rival Boston University (10 a.m.) and Keystone State foe Bloomsburg (noon) in MSG – an event sure to be circled on everyone’s calendar.
Penn’s first home dual of the season will come against perennial rival Lehigh on Dec. 8 in The Palestra. The Quakers knocked off the Mountain Hawks in Bethlehem last year, and will be looking for their first back-to-back wins over Lehigh since 2007-08.
After a break for exams and the holidays, the Quakers will ring in 2014 at the Southern Scuffle(Jan. 1-2) in Chattanooga, Tenn. Penn has not competed at the Scuffle since 2010 when it was still contested in Greensboro, N.C. and this will be Penn’s first every wrestling competition held in the state of Tennessee. Last year, 29 wrestlers who placed in the Top-8 at the Scuffle went on to earn All-American honors at the NCAA Championships. Eight wrestlers who reached the finals at NCAAs competed at the Scuffle, including five wrestlers who would go on to win national titles.
Penn won’t hit the road for a dual until mid-January when the Quakers travel to Lincoln, Neb. for a tilt with Big Ten opponent Nebraska. The Red and Blue will be looking for their first win over the Huskers, entering 0-1-1 in two previous meetings. Penn’s last win against a Big Ten opponent came at No. 24 Penn State on Feb. 20, 2009 by a 20-13 margin.
Nine consecutive EIWA duals await the Quakers to close of the 2013-14 regular season, beginning with newcomer to the conference Binghamton on Jan. 17. The Friday night dual in The Palestra will be preceded by a high school dual featuring high school powers Wyoming Seminary and Bergen Catholic. Two days later, the Quakers will head to Lewisburg to wrestle Bucknell at 2 p.m.
On Jan. 26, Penn will host Army for the first time since 1979 for a 1 p.m. matinee. The dual will be just the second between the two schools since 1980 and the fifth since 1957. All-time, Penn is 10-11-4 against Army.
Defending Ivy League champion Cornell comes to The Palestra on Feb. 1 to begin a stretch of five Ivy duals for the Quakers. Penn has finished second to the Big Red each of the last 11 years in the League race, and the winner of the Penn-Cornell dual has gone on to win the last 12 Ivy championships.
After a road trip to New England for a pair of duals at Harvard (Feb. 7) and Brown (Feb. 8), the Quakers return home for Senior Day against Columbia on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Penn will close out the regular season with a pair of duals on Feb. 22, first heading to Princeton (1 p.m.) before settling some neighborhood issues at Drexel at 5 p.m. The dual at the DAC will be Penn’s first foray down 33rd Street since 1998.
For the 16th time in tournament history, Penn will host the EIWA Championships when the 16 member schools of the EIWA converge on Philadelphia and The Palestra March 8-9. The Quakers last hosted the EIWA Championships in 2009, and will look to become the first host school to capture the team title since Lehigh in 2006.
All roads will lead to Oklahoma City and the Chesapeake Energy Arena for the NCAA Championships March 20-22. The last time the NCAA Championships were held in Oklahoma City saw current assistant coach Matt Valenti C’07 pick up the first of back-to-back NCAA titles.
|November 17||at East Stroudsburg Open||All Day|
|November 24||KEYSTONE CLASSIC||All Day|
|December 1||vs. Boston University^||10 a.m.|
|December 1||vs. Bloomsburg^||Noon|
|December 8||LEHIGH||2 p.m.|
|January 1-2||at Southern Scuffle||All Day|
|January 11||at Nebraska||TBA|
|January 17||BINGHAMTON#||7 p.m.|
|January 19||at Bucknell||2 p.m.|
|January 26||ARMY||1 p.m.|
|February 1||CORNELL*||1 p.m.|
|February 7||at Harvard*||TBA|
|February 8||at Brown*||TBA|
|February 15||COLUMBIA*||1 p.m.|
|February 22||at Princeton*||1 p.m.|
|February 22||at Drexel||5 p.m.|
|March 8-9||EIWA CHAMPIONSHIPS||All Day|
|March 20-22||at NCAA Championships%||All Day|
All home matches are held in The Palestra
* Indicates Ivy League Dual
^ Grapple at the Garden (Madison Square Garden, New York City)
# Match Preceded by Wyoming Seminary vs. Bergen Catholic High School Dual
% Held at Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City)