Posted: September 18, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Seven home duals, and eight match-ups against top 20 finishers from last year’s NCAA Championships highlight Lehigh’s 2007-08 wrestling schedule, announced by head coach Greg Strobel. The Mountain Hawks will face another challenging schedule that features a return to the Virginia Duals for the first time in four seasons, as well as a return trip to Nebraska, and an appearance in the increasingly popular Journeyman Duals.
“Overall this is a very aggressive schedule that will be a good test for our young but talented team,” said Strobel, a four-time EIWA Coach of the Year, who enters his 13th season. “We tried to spread the events out more this year to allow for more training and recovery. Half of our events are before January so we were successful in that particular element.”
Strobel concludes, “We’re excited about going to the Virginia Duals, and we’re excited to compete in some new events against some new teams that we haven’t faced in a few years.”
Fans will get their first look at the 2007-08 team, which features five returning NCAA qualifiers and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, on Tuesday, October 30 with the annual wrestle-offs. The regular season will also begin at home, with in-state rival Pittsburgh visiting on Sunday, November 11.
The next two weekends will see Lehigh take to the road. The Mountain Hawks will head to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers on Friday, November 16. The dual is a return trip for Lehigh, after the Cornhuskers visited Leeman-Turner Arena for the 2007 Sheridan Dual in February. After the dual in Lincoln on Friday night, Lehigh will head to Omaha on Saturday where a contingent of Mountain Hawks will compete in the Kaufman-Brand Open, hosted by Nebraska-Omaha.
Upon returning from Nebraska, Lehigh will head to Albany, N.Y. on Thanksgiving weekend, to take part in the Journeyman Duals. The Mountain Hawks will wrestle four duals on Saturday, November 24, taking on Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan, plus Virginia, Clarion and Binghamton.
The Mountain Hawks will return home on Friday, November 30, to open EIWA competition against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Two days later, Lehigh will head to Maryland for a pair of duals. First, the Mountain Hawks will visit former assistant coach Pat Santoro and the Maryland Terrapins, and then later that day it’s on to Washington, D.C. for an EIWA showdown against American.
On Friday, December 7, longtime rival Penn State visits Stabler Arena for the 96th meeting between the two schools. Lehigh will be looking to snap a three match losing streak against the Nittany Lions.
Lehigh will wrap up 2007 on Sunday December 30 at the Wolverine Quad in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Mountain Hawks will face Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, before tackling the host Wolverines.
The 2008 portion of the schedule kicks off on Friday, January 4 as former volunteer assistant coach Kerry McCoy brings his Stanford Cardinal to Grace Hall for the first time. Lehigh took part in the Stanford Duals last season, earning wins over the Cardinal and UC Davis.
The following week, Lehigh will trek to Hampton, Virginia to take part in the 28th annual Virginia Duals. Lehigh last took part in the duals in 2004, finishing second to Nebraska. The year before, the Mountain Hawks defeated the Cornhuskers 34-7 to win their only Virginia Duals title.
Three conference duals wrap up the month of January, with Navy visiting Bethlehem on January 19. The Mountain Hawks will be looking to avenge a 26-12 loss in Annapolis last year, which snapped Lehigh’s string of ten straight wins over Navy. The following week, Lehigh heads to New England to take on Ivy foes Harvard and Brown.
Lehigh opens February with its final two home duals. Hofstra will be the opponent for the 2008 Sheridan Dual, with the Pride visiting on February 8. The following Thursday, Rider visits Bethlehem in the final home dual of the season. The Mountain Hawks will wrap-up the dual season at Army on February 17, and then it’s on to Philadelphia to face Penn and Drexel on February 24.
The postseason begins on March 7, with the 104th EIWA Championships, this year being hosted by Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pa.
The NCAA Championships will return to St. Louis for the first time since 2005, and will take place March 20-22 at Scottrade Center.
Lehigh returns 13 letter winners from last season’s team, including six starters and five NCAA qualifiers.