The University of Northern Iowa joined the Mid-American Conference last season, competing in the conference championships for the first time. The move was made with University of Missouri. Old Dominion will make the MAC a nine-team conference.
UNI will host both Missouri and Central Michigan, which finished first and second, respectively, at last year’s MAC tournament. UNI was third. Ohio University and Kent State will round out the conference duals at West Gym in Cedar Falls.
“Each season, four of the home duals are set by the MAC, and hopefully we will continue to be able to fill other dates with Big 10 teams,” said UNI head coach Doug Schwab, who added, “We want to make sure we are prepared for the MAC and ultimately nationals. Those high-end teams make us ready so we can rise to the occasion.”
This season includes a trip to Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational and Midlands Championships in December. UNI heads to Norman, Okla., on Jan. 19 to face Oklahoma. UNI beat the Sooners, 18-15, last year at West Gym. The schedule does not include a regular-season dual against the University of Iowa for the second straight year.
The Panthers home duals open with University of Wisconsin on Nov. 30. They will return home to compete in the UNI Open on Dec. 14. UNI split with Wisconsin last season, winning the last meeting, which came in the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals.
The highlight of the home schedule is the dual against Iowa State on Feb. 7. The Cyclones won, 23-12, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames last season.
The Panthers cap their eight-dual home schedule with Purdue on Feb. 16.
“We want people to get used to coming to the West Gym,” Schwab said. “We want to make it an environment they are excited about, and I think we can do that.”
Below is the full schedule release by UNI:
2013-14 SCHEDULE (with team’s place at last year’s national meet)
• NOV. 16 –@ Cobber Open, Moorhead, Minn., 9 a.m.
• NOV. 23 –@ Northern Illinois (T 41st) * & North Dakota State (30th), 10 a.m.
• NOV. 30 –Wisconsin (T 27th), 7 p.m.
• DEC. 6-7 – Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite
• DEC. 14 –UNI Open, 9 a.m.
• DEC. 29-30 – Midlands Championships
• JAN. 4 –@ Buffalo (T 57th) *, 1 p.m.
• JAN. 5 –@Eastern Michigan (T 41st) *, 1 p.m.
• JAN. 11 –Central Michigan (18th) *, 7 p.m.
• JAN. 19 – @ Oklahoma (12th), 2 p.m.
• JAN. 24 – Missouri (7th) *, 7 p.m.
• FEB. 1 – Ohio (29th) * & South Dakota State (T 66th), noon
• FEB. 7 – Iowa State (11th), 7 p.m.
• FEB. 9 – Kent State (24th) *, 1 p.m.
• FEB. 16 – Purdue (31st), 2 p.m.
• FEB. 23 – @ Old Dominion (T 60th) *, 1 p.m.
• MARCH 8-9 – @ MAC Championships*; Kent, Ohio
• MARCH 20-22 – NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships; Oklahoma City, Okla.
* MAC team
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