Six home duals, including two national powers in Stabler Arena, highlight the 2019-20 Lehigh wrestling schedule. The Mountain Hawks will wrestle three times at Stabler Arena, with Oklahoma State visiting in November, four-time defending national champion Penn State coming to town in early December, and the EIWA Championships returning to Stabler in March.
"We're going to have two big events in Stabler Arena before EIWAs which is also a big event," Santoro said. "Our guys haven't wrestled in Stabler in a few years so it will be nice to get back in there a couple times this year. Having those two big events should work out well to prepare us for the postseason."
The first dual of the season will be on November 16 when Oklahoma State visits Bethlehem for the first time since 2005 for a Saturday afternoon dual at Stabler Arena. On Sunday, November 24, Lehigh hosts its first Grace Hall dual as the Mountain Hawks welcome Pitt, who returns to the schedule after a one-year hiatus.
Lehigh will remain home and return to Stabler Arena for the 108th meeting between Lehigh and Penn State on Friday, December 6. The Mountain Hawks and Nittany Lions sold out Allentown's PPL Center when Penn State last visited in December 2017 and set a Stabler Arena dual meet record of 5,909 for the Nittany Lions' visit in February 2016.
"Pitt was a top 20 dual meet team that has eight guys back," Santoro said. "We want to keep that series going. It didn't work out last year because of scheduling. Princeton is another top 20 dual team and Oklahoma State is always tough. Add in the likes of Penn State and Cornell, and it's another really challenging schedule. That's what we do here. We try to wrestle the best teams we can."
Lehigh will be back in Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall the following weekend as American visits on Friday, January 17 and then Navy comes to town on January 18 for the 100th meeting in the series. The Midshipmen are Lehigh's second most-often wrestled opponent behind Penn State.
Lehigh will close out the dual meet season by hosting Arizona State for the second straight year, with the match set for Friday, February 21.
"It's a good, balanced schedule," Santoro said. "Last year's schedule was built for a team that we thought would have a couple more All-Americans in the lineup. It ended up benefitting our guys at the end of the year anyway. It did what it was designed to do, and this year is similar. It's not designed for us to go undefeated. It's designed to get us ready for the postseason."
Stabler Arena will be the site of the 118th EIWA Championships, March 6-7 as Lehigh will host the conference tournament for the first time since 2015. The Mountain Hawks will be looking to win their third consecutive team title.
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