University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger announced the Mocs' 2012-13 schedule today. UTC's home slate features eight dual matches, highlighted by visits from top-10 powers Iowa and Illinois. The Mocs also host the prestigious Southern Scuffle in McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2.
"You always want to measure yourself against the best in the country and I think we will be able to do that with the schedule we have put together this year," stated Eslinger. "We have a good balance of tough dual matches against great teams, along with individual tournaments that have a strong lineup of competitors."
UTC opens with the annual Blue & Gold match on Oct. 27. Details will be finalized in the coming weeks, but the intra-squad scrimmage is tentatively set to take place in the First Tennessee Pavilion prior to the Mocs' football game against Georgia Southern on Oct. 27.
The regular season begins with a trip to Charlottesville, Va., for matches against Virginia, Ohio and Anderson on Nov. 3. The Mocs then head to Salem, Va., the following day for the Hokie Open. UTC also competes in the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh, N.C., on Nov. 11.
The 23-time NCAA Champion Hawkeyes visit the Scenic City on Friday, Nov. 16, along with Virginia and Cumberland. Chattanooga will wrestle against Cumberland and Iowa, while the Hawkeyes will also face Virginia. This is the second time in school history UTC has faced Iowa, including a 47-0 loss in Iowa City on Nov. 26, 2010.
"Between the regular season dual meets and the Southern Scuffle, six of the top seven teams in the nation will visit Chattanooga this season," added Eslinger. "That is great for our fans and should help us continue to build an exciting home atmosphere."
Season tickets go on sale on Sept. 15. on GoMocs.com and by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Season tickets are $60 and include all of the home duals and the two-day Southern Scuffle.
The Mocs hit the road for one more trip before the Christmas break, beginning with a dual meet at Princeton on Dec. 14. That is followed by the 'Grapple in the Garden' in New York City's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 16. Chattanooga faces Rutgers and Oklahoma State in the first ever collegiate dual matches in the iconic arena.
UTC returns home for the second Southern Scuffle in McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2. After moving to Chattanooga last year, the Southern Scuffle was a big hit, drawing nearly 5,000 fans for the two-day event. This year's lineup features 20 teams from across the NCAA, including four of the top five finishers at least year's NCAA Championships.
Two-time defending NCAA Champion Penn State highlights the list of teams committed. No. 2 Minnesota and No. 4 Cornell also return from last year's Scuffle lineup. No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 19 American highlight the newcomers.
The Illini are set to visit Maclellan Gym on Sunday, Jan. 6. UTC is 0-9 against Illinois, including a 30-6 loss on Dec. 18, 2011 in Champaign, Ill. The Mocs close out the non-conference portion of the schedule with a trip to Cleveland State on Jan. 20.
UTC opens SoCon action on Jan. 27, hosting The Citadel at Maclellan Gym. The last road trip of the year includes matches at Gardner-Webb and Appalachian State on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, respectively. The Mountaineers broke UTC's 39-match winning streak in SoCon action with last year's 21-17 win in Maclellan Gym.
The last four duals will be home events in Maclellan Gym. UTC hosts Davidson on Feb. 10, VMI and SoCon newcomer Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Feb. 23 and Campbell on Feb. 25. VMI hosts the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament in Lexington, Va., on March 9. The NCAA Championships are set for March 12-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.