Wrestling Releases its 2019-2020 Schedule
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. –Old Dominion’s head wrestling coach Steve Martin released the upcoming 2019-2020 schedule on Friday Morning.
ODU will host five matches throughout the regular season and hit the road for six. Three of the Monarchs’ five home contests will be against wrestling programs that are new to the Mid-American Conference (MAC), as this season MAC welcomes seven new members to its wrestling slate.
ODU will welcome Lock Haven, Rider, Virginia Tech, Drexel and Bloomsburg to the Ted Constant Center this campaign, while the team will travel to NC State, SIUE, Edinboro, Clarion, Navy and George Mason. The Monarchs will also compete in nine different events, including the South Beach Duals in late December, where the team will take on reigning MAC Champions Missouri in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Overall, the Monarchs will face four teams that ended the 2018-19 campaign ranked in the top-25 nationally according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Coaches Poll.
“We're excited to challenge our athletes with this years schedule,” Martin said. “We’ve made some changes and added some new events such as the South Beach Duals, and the Jouneymen Classic. These events, coupled with the new MAC expansion, will give our guys some opportunities to see some opponents we haven’t seen in years prior.”
To view the entire schedule, click here.
The Monarchs will start the season on November 3, when the team splits up and travel to two separate events. Most of the team will be heading south to Charleston, S.C. to compete in the Battle at the Citadel. Stanford, Duke, Ohio, American and Presbyterian will all be competing in the season-opening event. While the team is South Carolina, six Monarch wrestlers will head north to Princeton, N.J. to face some of the toughest competition in the country at the Princeton Open.
The team will then head north the following week to take part in the Journeyman Classic in Troy, N.Y.
On November 15, the wrestling Monarchs will then compete against NC State for their first dual match of the season. Last season the Wolfpack edged out a 16-15 victory over ODU when they visited the Ted Constant Center. The Wolfpack ended last season ranked 10thin the NWCA Coaches poll and finished in 17thplace in the NCAA Championships. ODU will stay in Raleigh to compete in the Wolfpack Open two days later.
This season Monarchs will visit the Naval Academy to compete in the Navy Classic on November 23, an event in which they have had some recent success, finishing in the top five in each of the past two seasons. The field is scheduled to have 17 other teams; among them are Rutgers, Bucknell, Virginia Tech, and Oregon State.
After their event in Annapolis, a handful of the Monarchs wrestling team will then go to George Mason and participate in the GMU Open on December 7. The Squad will then reconvene and take a trip to Edwardsville, Illinois to take on SIUE on December 18. Last season the Monarchs dispatched the Cougars, 28-13 at home.
ODU will then travel to the sunshine state to participate in the South Beach Duals and compete against Missouri. Last season, Mizzou went 16-1 and had a pristine 7-0 record in MAC action. The national and MAC powerhouse placed sixth in the NCAA Championships and ended the year ranked fifth nationally in the NWCA Coaches Poll. The South Beach Duals will take place on December 29 and 30.
The Monarchs start the new year by participating in the 40th annual Virginia Duals the weekend of January 10. Last season ODU went 2-2 in the event, and this year, the Monarchs will take on the likes of Virginia, Penn, Rider, KSU, Maryland and Duke.
ODU’s first home match will take place on January 17, when it takes on Lock Haven at the Ted Constant Center. The homestand continues two days later when the Monarchs welcome Rider to Hampton Roads.
The team will then spend the next weekend in Pennsylvania, as it will take on new MAC foes Edinboro and Clarion on January 24 and 26, respectively.
The Monarchs return home to take on Virginia Tech on February 2. Last season these two squads faced off in the Virginia Duals, with No. 13 VT coming out on top, 31-9.
ODU then welcomes Drexel to town on February 10, looking to repeat last year’s performance of a 23-12 victory over the Dragons.
Monarch wrestling will once again travel to the Naval Academy and George Mason University to take on each school individually on February 14 and 16, respectively.
The season finale will take place at the Ted Constant Center on Sunday, February 23 when the Monarchs take on Bloomsburg.
The Postseason begins on March 6, as Northern Illinois will host the MAC Championships, which run through March 7. Last season ODU finished fourth in the conference tournament, coming in behind Missouri, Buffalo and Central Michigan.
Coach Martin knows that the season is long and the schedule is challenging on paper, but he’s confident in his wrestlers to perform. ‘This schedule will get our guys ready to make some noise at the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis in March”
Following the MAC Championships on March 19-21, the NCAA Championships begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota at US Bank Stadium.
The Monarchs return three NCAA qualifiers in seniors Larry Early, Sa’Derian Perry and junior Michael McGee. Early, who earned All-American honors during last year’s NCAA Championships, has been ranked as the fourth-best wrestler in the 157-pound weight class in WIN Magazine’s annual preseason poll.
McGee and Perry were also listed in the top-20 in their weight class in WIN Magazine as well, as McGee was ranked seventh in the 125-pound class, while Perry was ranked 14th in the 141-pound weight class. Junior Will Hilliard was the fourth Monarch ranked in his weight class, rounding out the top-20 in the heavyweight class.
The Monarchs as a team were ranked tied for 21st in WIN Magazine’s preseason poll.
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