PHILADELPHIA – In his third season as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team, Alex Tirapelle has put together a schedule which will test his squad early and often as the Quakers look to improve upon their highest NCAA Championships finish since 2006.
“The college wrestling season is one of the biggest grinds in all of sports,” said Tirapelle. “We think we have set up a schedule which challenges our team early in order to see where we are as a group, but also sets us up to have optimum success in March. We are excited about some of the new events we are going to participate in, and can’t wait to compete in front of our home fans in The Palestra.”
Penn officially opens the 2016-17 season with a trip to the Southeast Open hosted by Virginia Tech in Roanoke on November 6.
On November 20, Penn will again host the Keystone Classic in The Palestra. One of the nation’s premier early-season tournaments, the Keystone Classic will count Penn State – the defending national champions – as part of its entry list in addition to Northwestern, Drexel, Pitt as part of a 12-team field.
On December 4, the Quakers will head to Hofstra to compete in the Journeyman Tussle. An all-day event, the inaugural Journeyman Tussle is an individual competition with each weight class broken up into pools. Joining Penn and host Hofstra will be N.C. State, Rutgers, Brown, Campbell, and The Citadel.
Once again, the Red and Blue will open the new year in Chattanooga at the Southern Scuffle. Last year, the Quakers were 10th at the Southern Scuffle with Casey Kent headlining the squad via a third place finish at 174 pounds. After returning from Chattanooga, the Quakers will compete at the Lehman Open at Franklin & Marshall on January 7 and the Shorty Hitchcock Memorial at Millersville on January 14 to close out the tournament slate.
The highlight of the dual meet season will be the first “Beauty and the Beast” event on January 21 as the wrestling and gymnastics teams will combine for a showcase event inside The Palestra. The grapplers will take on Lock Haven while gymnastics hosts Yale. The start time for “Beauty and the Beast” is 12 p.m.
The Red and Blue will be home for eight dual meets during the upcoming season, including six against EIWA competition and a non-conference dual with Stanford – where head coach Alex Tirapelle spent four seasons as an assistant before taking the reins of the Quakers.
Penn will be on the road for dual meets six times in the 2016-17 season. The Red and Blue will open the dual meet season on December 10 at Rider. Once the calendar flips to 2017, Penn ventures to traditional EIWA rivals Lehigh (January 10) and Cornell (February 10) in addition to road matches at Bucknell, Binghamton and Columbia.
Postseason begins for the Quakers at the EIWA Championships March 3-4 at Bucknell University. All roads lead to Saint Louis and the Scottrade Center for the NCAA Championships March 16-18.
The Quakers return eight starters from last year, including All-American Casey Kent and NCAA qualifiers Caleb Richardson and May Bethea.
2016-17 Penn Wrestling Schedule
11/6 at Southeast Open Roanoke, Va. All Day
11/20 KEYSTONE CLASSIC The Palestra All Day
12/4 at Journeyman Tussle Hempstead, N.Y. TBA
12/10 at Rider Lawrenceville, N.J. 7 p.m.
1/1-1/2 Southern Scuffle Chattanooga, Tenn. All Day
1/7 Lehman Open Lancaster, Pa. All Day
1/8 PRINCETON The Palestra 1 p.m.
1/14 Shorty Hitchcock Millersville, Pa. All Day
1/15 ARMY The Palestra 1 p.m.
1/15 STANFORD The Palestra 3 p.m.
1/20 at Lehigh Bethlehem, Pa. 7 p.m.
1/21 LOCK HAVEN The Palestra 12 p.m.
1/27 at Bucknell Lewisberg, Pa. 7 p.m.
1/29 AMERICAN The Palestra 12 p.m.
2/4 HARVARD The Palestra 1 p.m.
2/4 BROWN Rockwell Gymnasium 6 p.m.
2/10 at Cornell Ithaca, N.Y. 6:30 p.m.
2/11 at Binghamton Binghamton, N.Y. 12 p.m.
2/11 at Columbia New York, N.Y. 7 p.m.
2/19 DREXEL The Palestra 1 p.m.
3/3-3/4 EIWA Championships Lewisberg, Pa. All day
3/16-18 NCAA Championships Saint Louis, Mo. All Day