- Nine home dual matches, including a bout with Virginia Tech at John Paul Jones Arena, highlight the 2011-12 Virginia wrestling schedule, announced today by UVa head coach Steve Garland. Virginia and Virginia Tech will square off on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 1 p.m. at JPJA.
"We couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to wrestle Virginia Tech in John Paul Jones Arena," Garland said. "Ever since the 2011 ACC Championships concluded, I have been scratching, clawing and begging to get back in there. In my opinion, that facility provides the most beautiful, first-class wrestling experience our student-athletes could ever have.
"I can say without a doubt that this is going to be a wonderful event for the friends and families of both programs, alumni, current UVa students and of course the local community."
The dual with Virginia Tech will mark the Cavaliers' first wrestling dual at JPJA. The wrestling match also will cap a weekend of rivalry action in Charlottesville, as the UVa and Virginia Tech volleyball teams play Friday (Nov. 25) and the Virginia and Virginia Tech football teams battle Saturday (Nov. 26) at Scott Stadium.
Tickets for the Virginia Tech dual are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under), seniors and staff and will go on sale Oct. 10 through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office. All tickets are general admission. The remaining eight home bouts will be contested inside Memorial Gymnasium; there is no admission charge for matches at Mem Gym.
Virginia's schedule takes on a different look this year. UVa has cut down on its number of dual meets, with a dozen duals on the 2011-12 schedule (from 26 in 2010-11). The Cavaliers' season opens Nov. 5 with a tri-meet against Campbell and Anderson.
"Overall we are very happy with the schedule we have planned for our team," Garland said. "Every year our goal is to perform our very best at ACCs and NCAAs, so no matter what happens during the year, our focus won't shift. We want to bring home another ACC team championship and have multiple All-Americans again this year. We feel this approach can help us do that."
In addition to the Anderson, Campbell and Virginia Tech duals, Virginia will face Duke (Jan. 20), North Carolina (Jan. 21), Maryland (Jan. 29), Rutgers (Feb. 4), Old Dominion (Feb. 19) and George Mason (Feb. 19) at home. Maryland and Rutgers joined UVa among the top 30 teams in the final standings at the NCAA Championships last season.
"I am very much looking forward to our home dual meet schedule this year," Garland said. "We have nine home duals planned and we hope that will please our friends, fans and student body. Some other highlights of the year should be the Cornell Invitational, which features two top-five nationally ranked teams (Cornell and Minnesota), and the Southern Scuffle, which always boasts some of the toughest competition in the country."
UVa will wrestle Drexel (Dec. 18), NC State (Jan. 13) and Appalachian State (Feb. 11) on the road in dual action.
The ACC Championships will be contested in Chapel Hill, N.C., on March 3. The NCAA Championships return to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis March 15-17.
UVa will participate in Cornell's Body Bar System Invitational for the first time this season. Joining the Cavaliers in the invitational are Army, Binghamton, Buffalo, Clarion, Cornell, Drexel, Ithaca College, Kent State, Lock Haven, Minnesota and Sacred Heart. Cornell was the national runner-up at the 2011 NCAA Championships, while Minnesota took seventh.
The Cavaliers again will compete in the Southern Scuffle this year (Jan. 1-2). The tournament moves to Chattanooga, Tenn., this season.