Wrestling Announces 2011-12 Schedule

2011-12 Penn Wrestling Schedule

PHILADELPHIA - The term "battle-tested" will be appropriately applied to the Penn wrestling team at the conclusion of the 2011-12 regular season as head coach Rob Eiter has assembled a schedule rich with challenging dual meets and tournaments to prepare the Quakers for the rigors of March.

Meets with four of the Top-10 finishers at the 2011 NCAA Championships highlight the dual portion of the schedule for the Red and Blue. In addition to the annual meeting with national runner-up Cornell (Jan. 14 in The Palestra), the Quakers will wrestle fifth-place finisher American and sixth-place finisher Arizona State at the Northeast Duals (Nov. 26) and host eighth-place Lehigh (Dec. 4).

"We are very excited for the 2011-12 season to begin," said Eiter, who enters his fourth season at the helm of the Quakers. "Our goal as a program is to be looked upon as one of the best in the nation, and we know that we need to challenge ourselves to attain that goal. Balancing high-caliber dual meets with grueling tournaments will prepare us to be ready in March."

The 2011-12 season will start with the annual Intrasquad Meet on Nov. 6 before the team heads to Binghamton, N.Y. for the Binghamton Open on Nov. 13. Last season, 141-pounder Zack Kemmerer started his All-American campaign with a title at the Binghamton Open and will look to defend his crown this fall.

More championships will be defended by the Quakers on Nov. 20 when the Red and Blue host the Keystone Classic in The Palestra. 10 programs from around the country are scheduled to join the defending-champion Quakers for the all-day tournament, including American, Appalachian State, Boston University, Brown, Duke, Harvard, Northwestern, Princeton, Rider and VMI. In 2010, Penn won five individual crowns to go with the team title and three of those champions are slated to return this season in Kemmerer, Micah Burak and Kyle Cowan.

Penn's first foray into dual competition for the 2011-12 season will not give the Red and Blue any chance to gently acclimate themselves. Once again heading to Albany, N.Y. over Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26), the Red and Blue will take on Arizona State, American and North Carolina at the Northeast Duals. American and Arizona State had remarkable 2010-11 seasons, with the Sun Devils claiming two individual NCAA championships and the two teams totaling six All-Americans.

After a trip to Bloomsburg on Dec. 2, the Quakers host Lehigh (Dec. 4) and Maryland (Dec. 10) to close out the 2011 dual portion of the campaign. All three opponents are return matches from the 2010-11 season, and Penn will be looking to exact a measure of revenge in all three, including a 25-23 loss to Bloomsburg last Jan. 9.

The Red and Blue make their return to the Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill. Penn last competed as a full team at the Midlands in 2004, finishing 13th out of 60 teams. Head coach Rob Eiter was an assistant at Northwestern from 1997-2006 and this will mark his first trip back to Evanston as a head coach.

2012 begins with a home dual against Rider on Jan. 8 followed by the beginning of Ivy League competition against nine-time defending Ivy champion Cornell on Jan. 14 in University City. Penn hits the road from there for a three-match road swing starting at Hofstra on Jan. 29. The next week sends the Quakers to New England for a pair of Ivy duals at Brown and Harvard (Feb. 4).

Senior Day for the Red and Blue will be Feb. 11 when the Quakers host Columbia for the final home contest of the season. The next day, Penn heads to Lewisburg to wrestle EIWA foe Bucknell before closing the regular season at storied rival Princeton on Feb. 18.

The Quakers will head back to New Jersey for the 2012 EIWA Championships hosted by Princeton on March 3-4. Penn finished in fifth place as a team at the 2011 EIWA Championships and will return finalists Mark Rappo (125) and Micah Burak (197) this season.

The NCAA Championships return to St. Louis in 2012 with action taking place from the Scottrade Center March 15-17. Penn will be looking to send at least one wrestler to the podium for the third year in a row, with four NCAA qualifiers returning including All-American Zack Kemmerer and Round of 12 advancer Micah Burak. In addition, Mark Rappo and Bryan Ortenzio have all won matches at the national tournament in their careers.

The Red and Blue return five All-Ivy wrestlers from the 2010-11 season, including Ivy League Rookie of the Year Kyle Cowan. In addition, a nine-wrestler recruiting class which has been ranked No. 11 in the country by InterMat and features four Top-100 individuals is set to step into the wrestling room this fall as the Red and Blue commence the 2011-12 season.

"There is a lot to be excited about if you are one of the 28 wrestlers in the room," Eiter said. "There is a great mix out veteran leaders ready to cement their legacy and youngsters looking to either start their careers or make that next step. Coaches Valenti, Cerminara and I are looking forward to getting everyone back on campus and beginning this season."

2011-12 Penn Wrestling Schedule
Date Opponent Time

Nov. 13 at Binghamton Open All Day
Nov. 26 vs. American^ All Day
Nov. 26 vs. Arizona State^ All Day
Nov. 26 vs. North Carolina^ All Day
Dec. 2 at Bloomsburg 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 LEHIGH 1 p.m.

Dec. 29-30 at Midlands Championships All Day
Jan. 8 RIDER 1 p.m.
Jan. 14 CORNELL* 1 p.m.

Jan. 29 at Hofstra TBA
Feb. 4 at Brown* TBA
Feb. 4 at Harvard* TBA
Feb. 11 COLUMBIA* 1 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Bucknell TBA
Feb. 18 at Princeton* 1 p.m.
Mar. 3-4 at EIWA Championships# All Day
Mar. 15-17 at NCAA Championships% All Day
Home Matches in BOLD CAPS and held in The Palestra
* Ivy League Dual
^ Northeast Duals
# at Princeton, N.J.
% at St. Louis, Mo.