Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb wrestling head coach Dick Wince is pleased to announce the release of the 2011-12 Gardner-Webb wrestling schedule, which includes seven home matches and includes conference matches as Runnin' Bulldog grapplers join the Southern Conference this season.
"As usual, we have a very challenging schedule. The most dramatic development, of course, is our official entry into the Southern Conference, which is something I've coveted for most of the 22 years I've been at GWU," commented head coach Dick Wince. "Although this does mean three trips to Chattanooga, Tennessee, this year, it means that most of our matches will have meaning. One highlight is that we have a Big Ten opponent in Indiana coming into our arena for the first time. We also have always tough Citadel and Ohio University coming into Porter Arena, as well as the usual suspects we've been wrestling for years."
Gardner-Webb will open up its 2011-12 slate with a home match against NCAA Division II powerhouse Belmont Abbey on November 2nd.
The Runnin' Bulldogs will then have a number of individuals travel up to Blacksburg, Va. to compete in the annual Hokie Open hosted by Virginia Tech on November 6th.
GWU will remain on the road for its next two matches, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will do battle with the Chattanooga Mocs in Chattanooga, Tenn. on November 11th at 6 p.m. in the two teams' Southern Conference opener and then will head north to Annapolis, Md. to compete at the Navy Classic on November 19th.
Coach Wince's squad will return home for a showdown with Appalachian State on December 5th and will then wrap up the 2011 part of the schedule with a quad match at the UB Quad Meet in Buffalo, N.Y. where the Runnin' Bulldogs will square off with Buffalo, Bloomsburg and Old Dominion.
Gardner-Webb will kick off the new year at the Southern Scuffle on January 1st and 2nd in Chattanooga, Tenn. before returning to dual match action on January 7th to compete against N.C. State, George Mason and Shippensburg in Raleigh, N.C.
After a road bout at VMI on January 20th, the Runnin' Bulldog wrestlers will return home to host both Campbell and Millersville on February 4th before hitting the road once more to take on the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, N.C. on February 7th.
GWU will then host back-to-back matches at home versus the Citadel on February 10th and Indiana of the Big Ten on February 12th.
A Southern Conference road match up at Davidson on February 16th wraps up GWU's road season, while its final regular season match on the year will come at home against Ohio on February 18th.
As members of the Southern Conference this season, the Runnin' Bulldogs will compete in the 2012 Southern Conference Championship Tournament on March 3rd in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"Our schedule, as always, is designed to get us ready for the NCAA National Championships, and we firmly believe we can at least equal last year's four qualifiers, perhaps even get five to make the trip to St. Louis this year," continued Coach Wince.
The 2012 NCAA Championships will begin on March 15th in St. Louis, Missouri.