Wrestling Unveils the 2010-11 Schedule
BUFFALO, NY - With four NCAA qualifiers returning to the team, the Bulls are ready to charge in to a tough schedule that offers the team nationally ranked competition on almost a weekly basis. The program's hosting of its first-ever dual meet against Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma highlights a season packed with fierce competition in both tournament and dual-meet play.
"We've improved our schedule again and it seems like every year we're making it better," coach Jim Beichner said. "That's how you make your schedule: you figure out where all the great wrestlers are going and that's where you go."
The Bulls begin the 2010 campaign on the road, traveling to Boston University November 5 to face the Terriers for the first time in 13 years. The team will then return home to host the UB Open November 7. The event features over 25 teams including nationally ranked NCAA Division I and II teams. The Sooners will arrive just five days later to open the Bulls' home dual-meet schedule. Game time is set for 1:00 pm on November 12 and it will mark just the second time UB has faced Oklahoma. The first came in 1975, with the Sooners winning 39-7.
"We've never had a Big 12 team come here and for them to come in to the university in a home match is big for us," Beichner said. "We have a lot of good guys coming back so it will be a great opportunity."
With a marquee name making its way to Alumni Arena, the team is already gearing up for the event.
"The team is thrilled. Any time you have guys with high goals they want you to throw at them the best competition that you can," Beichner said. "Everytime I mention it to the team you can tell they're excited. They're ready for that dual - they're fired up for it. We've wrestled a few of their guys before but never in a dual meet."
November will come to a close with two tournaments in consecutive weekends. The team will have a quick turnaround from Oklahoma as they head to Brockport, NY for the Oklahoma Gold Classic November 13. One week later the team travels to the Cornell University campus for the Body Bar Invitational November 20.
December begins with a new addition to the team's schedule with the Penn State Open, December 5. "It's a very big tournament and a very tough tournament with over 500 student athletes in that tournament. That's where a lot of the great wrestlers are," Beichner said.
The next weekend, December 12, the Bulls will be on the road as it hits the mat against Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg University and Drexel at Bloomsburg.
The team will move from its usual tournament in Las Vegas to the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada on December 19. The event is one competition the team has attended in the past. The one-day tournament will include 20-24 of the best teams in the country. "It's nice to have something new this year," Beichner said. "If you have the same events year in and year out it gets kind of boring for athletes and coaches." The team will travel to Hampton University for another new event, the two-day Virginia Duals on January 7 and 8. "There are 16 or so teams there, and 10 or 12 will most likely be ranked in the top 25 in the country."
In between the tournaments in Reno and Virginia, the team will ring in the new year by traveling to Binghamton to face the Bearcats in a dual meet on January 2. Edinboro and Campbell will then come in to Alumni Arena for a tri-meet January 16. Edinboro boasts four grapplers who posted 30 or more wins last season. The Bulls look to avenge a close 19-17 loss to the Fighting Scots in 2009-10.
The two-day annual NYS Intercollegiate Championships will begin Saturday January 22 with the Bulls aiming to improve on third place finish and win its second championship in three years.
Following the Bulls' rigorous non-conference schedule of tournaments and duals, they will face Mid-American Conference opponents to close out the regular season. The conference sent 26 wrestlers to the NCAA championships and preseason favorite Central Michigan finished 12th in the NCAA team championships standings.
"The MAC is still a very tough conference. Just in our conference alone you're talking about facing top 20 teams in the country, and we feel we're one of those guys," Beichner said. "Our goal is to go out there and win a MAC title as it always is."