Bucknell to host 2011 EIWA Championships

By Todd Merriett | July 29, 2010, 5:36 p.m. (ET)
Last November, Bucknell and Sojka Pavilion hosted eventual national champion Iowa, the top wrestling program in the country. This coming March, Sojka Pavilion will once again serve as the backdrop to high-profile wrestling when it is the site of the 107th EIWA Championships, which will take place March 5-6. It is the first time Bucknell will host the prestigious event.

In addition to announcing it will host the EIWA Championships, Bucknell on Thursday unveiled its complete 2010-11 schedule. Highlighting the home slate is a dual match against EIWA foe and in-state rival Lehigh on Dec. 3, immediately following road competitions at Nebraska and Oklahoma State on back-to-back days in late November. Overall, the Bison will face no fewer than five teams that finished in the top 25 at last year's NCAA Championships.

Bucknell, which is entering its fifth year of competition since the program was reinstated prior to 2006-07, will have a total of seven home duals, as well as the EIWA Championships on its home slate. All regular-season home matches will take place in Davis Gym and will feature free admission. The EIWA Championships, however, will be a ticketed event.

"We are excited to be hosting the EIWA Championships" said Bucknell head wrestling coach Dan Wirnsberger. "The EIWA is a premier, prestigious conference and it will be exciting to showcase our program, campus and facilities to a tremendous part of the wrestling community. I know our guys are looking forward to wrestling in front of their home fans in Central Pennsylvania and I expect to see some outstanding competition next March."

An all-session ticket purchased in advance will cost $50 for adults and $25 for students of competing institutions and children 18 and under. The all-session ticket purchased at the door will be $60 for adults and $30 for students and children. Single-session tickets will also be available. Session 1 tickets will be $25 for adults and $13 for students. Session 2 tickets are $20 (adults) and $10 (students/children), while sessions 3 and 4 will cost $15 (adults) and $8 (students/children) apiece.

Tickets for the EIWA Championships will go on sale Aug. 16 at 11 a.m. Fans can purchase the tickets by calling the Weis Center Box Office at 570-577-1000 or online at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice.

Additionally, there will be a limited number of reserved parking spots available in designated lots for the EIWA Championships. Reserved parking can be purchased the same way as tickets. A weekend pass is $25, while a single-day parking pass is $15.

Bucknell has had plenty of success in recent years at the EIWA Championships. Last year Andy Rendos won the program's first-ever individual title as he led the Bison to a fourth-place finish. One year earlier Bucknell tied for third in the team standings, the best showing in program history.

Bucknell's 2010-11 season will commence Nov. 20 at the Navy Classic. Four Bison claimed individual titles at the event last year. The road trip to Nebraska and Oklahoma State follows. The Huskers finished 12th at last year's NCAA Championships, while Oklahoma State claimed sixth.

The dual with Lehigh, which finished 17th at last year's NCAA Championships, kicks off the home schedule. Bucknell will also be home on Dec. 17 for the annual Bison Duals against Princeton and Drexel, Jan. 21 vs. Old Dominion, Jan. 23 against Liberty, Feb. 4 opposite Lock Haven and Feb. 10 against EIWA foe Army.

Including Nebraska and Oklahoma State, the road dual slate includes matches at Rutgers, Penn, Brown and American, as well as a neutral-site outing at Lower Dauphin High School against Maryland.

Tournament competition once again includes the Midlands Championships in late December and the Virginia Duals a week later in addition to the season-opening Navy Classic.

Bucknell is coming off a 2009-10 season where it had two All-Americans (Kevin LeValley, Andy Rendos), the first EIWA champion in program history, went 12-6 and was an unblemished 6-0 against EIWA competition. The 12 victories equaled a school record, while it was the program's first unbeaten conference mark since 1987-88.

2011 EIWA Championships Information
Saturday, March 5
Session 1: 10 a.m.-approx. 3 p.m. (Round of 16, Quarterfinals & Consolations, Consolations)
Session 2: 3:30 p.m. (Semifinals)

Sunday, March 6
Session 3: 10 a.m.-approx. 1 p.m. (Consolation Semifinals, Place Finals)
Session 4: 3 p.m. (Finals)

Ticket Information (570-577-1000 or www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice starting Aug. 16 at 11 a.m.)
All-Session Pass (advance purchase)
Adult: $50
Student/Children: $25

All-Session Pass (purchase at door)
Adult: $60
Student/Children: $30

Single-Session Tickets
Session 1: Adult ($25)/Student/Children ($13)
Session 2: Adult ($20)/Student/Children ($10)
Session 3: Adult ($15)/Student/Children ($8)
Session 4: Adult ($15)/Student/Children ($8)

Note: Student ticket valid for competing institution student with valid ID and children 18 and under

Reserved Parking
Reserved parking is available in designated lots. An all-session parking pass is $25. A single-day parking pass is $15. There are limited reserved parking spaces and they are expected to sell out quickly.