From staff reports
UNIVERSITY PARK - The 2011 national and Big Ten wrestling champions will have seven home dual meets, all in Rec Hall, in the upcoming season.
Penn State, under the direction of coach Cael Sanderson, also will take part in the Nittany Lion Open as well as host an Intrasquad Dual in early November.
The season begins Nov. 3 with the Intrasquad Dual, which is free and open to the public. The regular season starts with the 2011-12 opener on Nov. 13, when the Bloomsburg Huskies come to town for a 2 p.m. match.
Penn State's home schedule features four Big Ten duals. This year's conference slate when the Lions host Minnesota Nov. 20. Penn State then competes in the Nittany Lion Open Dec. 4.
The Nittany Lions hit the road for the first time when they trek to Lehigh for the annual matchup with the Mountain Hawks, Dec. 9.
The Nittany Lions will close out December with long-time eastern rival West Virginia on Dec. 11 before continuing its long-standing rivalry with local opponent Lock Haven in Thomas Fieldhouse on Dec. 18.
Penn State returns to action on New Year's Day with a trip to the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn. It's back to Big Ten action a week later with at Michigan State Jan. 8, then Penn State treks to Northwestern Jan. 13, then heads north to Wisconsin Jan. 15.
The Nits return home to welcome Iowa to Rec Hall Jan. 22, a rematch of last year's standing room only dual here. A week later, rival Ohio State comes to town.
The Lions head to Lincoln, Neb., for their inaugural dual against the Nebraska Cornhuskers as a Big Ten opponent Feb. 3 then have a quick turnaround to get ready for the final home Big Ten dual Feb. 5 against Michigan.
Mid-February will afford the Nittany Lion nation yet another opportunity to continue to grow the sport, this time with an important Western road trip and with the continuation of one of Pennsylvania's oldest wrestling rivalries. Penn State will close out its non-conference schedule with their first visit to Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, Feb. 11. The trip to UVU marks the first time a Penn State team has wrestled a road dual west of the Central Time Zone since a road swing to Fresno State and Cal StateBakersfield in 1996-97.
A week later, Sanderson's squad closes out its dual meet slate against long-time in-state rival Pittsburgh. The 67th meeting between the two teams will be on either Feb. 17 or Feb. 19, depending on the finalization of Pitt's own home schedule.
The season will culminate in March with the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships March 3-4 at Purdue University. The 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships take place March 15-17 in St. Louis.
This year's season ticket package features seven home duals at the same price as last year. Fans can place new orders for season tickets by calling Joel Diamond at (814) 867-2557. With season ticket sales already brisk, Penn State will be capping the number of total season tickets sold, so fans wishing to purchase new season tickets are encouraged to do so quickly.
All ticket information is available online at www.GoPSUsports.com.