CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI wrestling will battle at least three teams that finished in the top 10 at the 2017 NCAA Division I National Wrestling Championships.
The Panthers are set to host Missouri, which finished fifth. The team also will travel to Oklahoma State and Cornell, which finished third and eighth at nationals, respectively.
UNI will open its home dual schedule against North Dakota State Nov. 19.
"We have four home duals," said head coach Doug Schwab. "Obviously four good ones: NDSU, with the football rivalry that adds to it. We have North Carolina coming in as a good, solid ACC team with a new coach. They are getting better."
Fans will have a chance to see Panthers redshirting the 2017-18 season compete at the UNI Open set for Dec. 9. The team will host North Carolina before wrapping up the February with Iowa State and Missouri.
"We finish with Iowa State and Missouri and having the UNI Open sandwiched between there, it gives our fans an opportunity to see us against some good competition," said Schwab. "They'll see some good rivalries, especially moving to the Big 12 and having that dual with Iowa State is a great thing. We've created a pretty good rivalry with Missouri in these last few years."
TOURNAMENTS AND DUALS ON THE ROAD
UNI will return to the Las Vegas Invite, an event the Panthers skipped last year. The Southern Scuffle is back on this year's schedule.
"Those are two great tournaments with multi-day weigh-ins," said Schwab. "Duals are great, but there is nothing like having multiple days, multiple weigh-ins, multiple matches among top-level competition."
UNI added the Virginia Duals for 2017-18.
"The Virginia Duals will be a strong event," Schwab said. "I know Arizona State is there. Iowa State is there and Virginia and Virginia Tech and some other teams we don't normally get to see."
The Panthers will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Big 12 Conference Championships for the first time since joining the league in early July.
"All and all, our schedule will have us prepared for the Big 12 Championships and the NCAAs," Schwab said. "The way we way we want to train and build for the end of the season and try to peak at the end of the season, I think it will fit us perfectly."
BY THE NUMBERS
- UNI finished 18th at the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, the highest finish since 2014. The Panthers qualified seven wrestlers, the most since 2014.
- Two All-Americans return for the Panthers, the most since the 2004-05 season. Sophomore Max Thomsen, a La Porte City, Iowa, native, returns after taking fifth at 149 pounds at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Junior Drew Foster finished seventh at 184 pounds.
- UNI returns six qualifiers, the most since 2008-09 when seven returned.
- Under Schwab, UNI has earned eight All-America titles.
- Under Schwab, UNI has earned 35 qualifying spots at the NCAA tournament.
Nov. 4: @ Harold Nichols Open; Ames, Iowa
Nov. 17: @ Cornell; Ithaca, New York
Nov. 19: * NDSU; Cedar Falls, Iowa - West Gym; 2 p.m.
Dec. 1-2: @ Las Vegas Invite; Las Vegas, Nevada
Dec. 9: UNI Open; Cedar Falls, Iowa - UNI-Dome; 9 a.m.
Dec. 18: North Carolina; Cedar Falls, Iowa; West Gym; 7 p.m.
Jan. 1-2: @ Southern Scuffle; Chattanooga, Tennessee
Jan. 13-14: @ Virginia Duals; Hampton, Virginia
Jan. 21: @ * South Dakota State; Brookings, South Dakota; 2 p.m.
Feb. 2: @ * Oklahoma State; Stillwater, Oklahoma; 7 p.m.
Feb. 10: * Iowa State; Cedar Falls, Iowa - West Gym; 7 p.m.
Feb. 17: Missouri; Cedar Falls, Iowa - West Gym; 2 p.m.
March 3-4: Big 12 Conference Championships; Tulsa, Oklahoma
March 15-17: NCAA Championships; Cleveland, Ohio