Aug. 13, 2012
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia wrestling team's 2012-13 schedule, unveiled Monday by head coach Steve Garland, will take on a decidedly more challenging look. Trips to the NWCA National Duals, Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, Southern Scuffle and Virginia Duals as well as a neutral-site dual match against national powerhouse Iowa are among the highlights of the stout slate.
"This year's schedule is very challenging. There is really no other way to describe it," Garland said. "We have drastically overhauled our schedule. It is much tougher than last year and we are excited to challenge our guys. We added Iowa, one of the most storied programs in the history of our sport, to our dual competition schedule for one thing. In addition to that we will head back to Vegas this year to compete in arguably the toughest individual tournament in the nation and we've also added the Virginia Duals back to our schedule.
"Perhaps the coolest thing we'll be doing this year is participating in the National Dual Meet Championships. What an honor - we are so thrilled to be doing this. To my knowledge it is the first time a UVa team has had the opportunity to compete for a dual meet national title."
The Cavaliers will compete in the NWCA National Duals for the first time on Feb. 17. The field and locations for the four regionals will be announced in the coming weeks. The winners of each of the four regionals advance to wrestle in the finals the following week.
Virginia will wrestle Iowa on Nov. 16 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Hawkeyes finished third at the 2012 NCAA Championships and have won 23 national titles. The Cavaliers also will take on Cumberland while in Chattanooga.
UVa will compete in the Las Vegas Invitational for the first time since 2006 on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The event annually features many of the nation's premier programs.
The Cavaliers will wrestle at home seven times this season at Memorial Gymnasium. UVa opens the year Nov. 3 by playing host to a quad meet featuring Anderson, Chattanooga and Ohio. The Cavaliers entertain Duke (Jan. 20) and NC State (Jan. 27) in ACC play and also welcome Appalachian State (Feb. 9) and Old Dominion (Feb. 10) in non-conference action. There is no admission charge for home Virginia wrestling matches.
The ACC season begins Nov. 25 with a dual at Virginia Tech. UVa also will travel to North Carolina (Jan. 18) and Maryland (Feb. 2) in conference play.
The Cavaliers again will compete in the Southern Scuffle this year (Jan. 1-2). After a year hiatus from the event, Virginia returns to the Virginia Duals Jan. 11-12 at the Hampton Coliseum. It marks the 18th time UVa has competed at the duals - fourth most of any program.
The 2013 ACC Championships will be held March 9 in College Park, Md., while the NCAA Championships will be contested March 21-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Virginia returns 14 letterwinners for the 2012-13 squad. In addition to eight returning starters from last season, the Cavaliers also welcome back 2011 All-American Derek Valenti and 2011 NCAA qualifier Joe Spisak, each of whom redshirted during the 2011-12 season. 2012 ACC champions Jon Fausey (184) and Matt Snyder (125) also are back for Virginia.