The Princeton wrestling team will bring the Orange and Black to the World’s Most Famous Arena, their own historic Jadwin Gym and, if all goes well, the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City during the 2013-14 season. Those are just a few of the highlights among the upcoming season schedule, which was just released.
Of course, the traditional Ivy League schedule and a trip to the Palestra for the EIWA Championships will continue to be huge dates for the Tigers, as will the December trip to Northwestern University for the 2013 Midlands Championships.
The season will open Nov. 10 at the always-challenging Binghamton Open, and the first month will include trips to both the ESU Open and the Navy Invitational.
The second annual Grapple at the Garden will take place the first day of December, and Princeton will take on EIWA rivals Army and Drexel during the 16-team competition.
“To be included in such a fabulous event in such a historic athletic venue is an exciting opportunity for our program and athletes,” head coach Chris Ayres said. “We look forward to competing against and alongside some of the best programs in the country as we showcase the greatest sport in the world in the greatest city in the world.”
This is the second annual Grapple at the Garden, though the first that will involve Princeton. The full day of wrestling will consist of two separate sessions with the first starting at 10:00 a.m. The Tigers will open the day against Drexel, one of four new entries into the EIWA this season. The Dragons went 8-12 last season, though they will return NCAA qualifier Brandon Palik next season.
Other matches in the 10 a.m. session include Maryland vs. Cornell, Rutgers vs. George Mason, Illinois vs. Bloomsburg, Hofstra vs. Army and Boston University vs. Penn.
The second session is scheduled to begin at noon, and Princeton will meet longtime EIWA rival Army in that matchup. The Black Knights went 7-7 last season and return two NCAA qualifiers in Paul Hancock and Bryce Barnes.
December also includes a Jersey showdown in Jadwin Gym, as Princeton will host Rutgers Dec. 14 at 5 pm at the site of the 2012 EIWA Championships, as well as two previous NCAA Championships.
The Midlands Championships will continue to highlight the end of December; two seasons ago, a mostly unknown Princeton sophomore named Adam Krop turned plenty of heads when he placed third at 141 and lost his only match to the top seed by one point.
January will be a light month for Princeton, though it will take on another new EIWA rival in Hofstra. February promises to be a far more memorable month for the Tigers, who will take on all five of their Ivy rivals over a four-week stretch. It begins Saturday, Feb. 1, at Dillon Gym against reigning Ivy League champion Cornell, and concludes Feb. 21 at Dillon against the Penn Quakers.
Princeton will make the trip south to Philadelphia March 8-9 for the EIWA Championships at the Palestra. The Tigers will be hoping to earn multiple bids to the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 20-22 in Oklahoma City.