The University of Northern Iowa has officially released their wrestling schedule for the upcoming season. While you could say it is a disappointment that Iowa is not on the schedule, you may recall we already discussed that issue when Iowa released their schedule. Remember to give old @TomBrandsHAWK and @Schwabwrestling a tweet, and try to make a dual happen between these two teams a la the PSU vs. Iowa dual last year. UNI was the only division one program to go undefeated last year at 13-0 and Schwab is looking to carry that momentum forward into this year.
UNI will once again be hosting the UNI Open in December in the UNI-Dome. It’s a pretty good draw from them and last year teams like Missouri, Michigan State, South Dakota State, and Campbell showed up. Campbell is now headed by Cary Kolat, and Missouri features a strong team that includes 2014 NCAA 197 Champion J’den Cox. The UNI Open may also help decide a few lineup spots that could potentially be up in the air (like 141, 149, 197, HWT…even 157 potentially). Last season Dylan Peters brought home the Panthers lone title, while Basil Minto (197), Blaize Cabell (HWT), and Levi Wolfensperger (133) brought home runner-up nods. Zach Witte who may drop to 149, was 3rd at 157. Witte could be a factor at 149 or 157 for the upcoming year.
UNI has a pretty good out of conference schedule as well, as they will be traveling to the Grapple at the Garden where Cornell, Drexel, and George Mason will be there to face them. They also get Virginia Tech coming to town in January. The matchup with Cornell will be a tough test for UNI, though it could also prove where a few wrestlers stand among elite competition. With Dylan Peters getting a shot at the NCAA runner-up Garrett at 125, Cooper Moore maybe running into Dylan Palacio at 165, and if Caldwell bumps to 184 he could face a tough Gabe Dean.
At least one matchup in that Virgina Tech dual jumps out at me, and that is 4th place All-American Joey Dance vs. 6th place All-American Dylan Peters. There will be a few other good matchups as well. Schwab will be facing a Virginia Tech team that came to the West Gym back when he was an assistant under Tom Brands back in 2005 in which Northern Iowa controlled the dual.
Media guide link (for UNI – VT dual)
UNI also gets MAC conference opponents Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Buffalo, and Old Dominion at home. It’s not the best home schedule as the top teams like Central Michigan and Missouri will both be a dog fight for UNI on the road. Coming home with a victory from either of those teams will be a huge accomplishment. However, UNI does get Northern Illinois and Old Dominion, both of which field solid teams, so that should make up for missing out on seeing two of the top three teams in the MAC in the West Gym.
Schwab also appears to have shaking things up a bit as the Panther squad won’t be attending the Midland tournament this year.
- Nov. 15 @Cobber Open 9 a.m. Moorhead, Minnesota
- Nov. 23 @Purdue/Indiana Tech TBA
- Nov. 29 Iowa Central CC 7 p.m. West Gym
- Dec. 5-6 Cliff Keen Invite Las Vegas, Nevada
- Dec. 13 UNI Open 9 a.m. UNI-Dome
- Dec. 21 @ Grapple in the Garden vs. Cornell, Drexel, George Mason – New York City
- Jan. 4 Eastern Michigan* 2 p.m. West Gym
- Jan. 9 Northern Illinois* 7 p.m. West Gym
- Jan. 10 Buffalo* 2 p.m. West Gym
- Jan. 16 Virginia Tech 7 p.m. West Gym
- Jan. 25 @Central Michigan* 1 p.m. CT Mount Pleasant, Michigan
- Jan. 30 @Missouri* 7 p.m. Columbia, Missouri
- Feb. 6 @Ohio* 6 p.m. CT Athens, Ohio
- Feb. 8 @Kent State* noon CT Kent, Ohio
- Feb. 15 @Iowa State 2 p.m. Ames, Iowa
- Feb. 20 Old Dominion* 7 p.m. West Gym
- March 7-8 MAC Tournament Columbia, Missouri
- March 19-21 Division I NCAA National Tournament St. Louis, Missouri
Home events – bold * Conference team
What do you think of the UNI schedule? Feel free to drop a comment below!