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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team will play host to eight dual matches and also look to defend its ACC championship by hosting the 2011 ACC Championships at John Paul Jones Arena. The full schedule for the 2010-11 season was announced Wednesday by head coach Steve Garland, the reigning ACC Coach of the Year.

UVa will play host to the ACC Championships for the first time since the 2004 season. The event is scheduled for March 5, 2011, in JPJA.

“We are very excited to see what this year’s team can accomplish,” Garland said. “We have seven NCAA qualifiers returning this year, which provides a strong foundation for our team. On top of that, we return ACC finalist Matt Snyder, who bumped up a weight for the team last year but now will be returning to his natural weight class of 125 pounds. We expect big things from him this year as well.

“We’ll need these guys to stay healthy and perform to the best of their abilities because we’ve put together one of the toughest schedules in program history. We are also very excited about hosting the ACC Championships here at home this season and defending our conference title.”

The Cavaliers will kick off the season Nov. 6 when they entertain Gardner Webb and Anderson in a home tri-meet at Memorial Gymnasium. UVa then will wrestle the following week at the Hershey Duals, facing Kent State, Edinboro and The Citadel. Edinboro took 16th at the 2010 NCAA Championships, finishing two points behind Virginia. Kent State nabbed 25th place at NCAAs last year.

After a week off, Virginia will return to action at the Northeast Duals in Albany, N.Y., battling Columbia, Lehigh and Pittsburgh. Lehigh placed 17th at the NCAA Championships last year.

After the holiday break, Virginia will wrestle at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. UVa finished fifth at the 2009 event; Cornell won the tournament and went on to place second at the NCAA Championships.

The Cavaliers will commence the 2011 portion of their schedule Jan. 7-8 at the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum. The field annually features some of the top teams nationally and is one of the top dual-meet tournaments in the nation.

UVa will return home to dual-meet competition Jan. 15 when it welcomes NC State in the ACC opener. The Cavaliers then will face off with Penn and VMI Jan. 16 in a tri-meet at Mem Gym.

The Cavaliers will hit the road the following week with duals at Campbell (Jan. 20) and North Carolina (Jan. 21) before coming home to wrestle Rutgers (Jan. 28) and Princeton (Jan. 29).

Virginia will head to Virginia Tech on Feb. 6 for a Sunday afternoon ACC dual match, then travels to Maryland Feb. 11. Both teams were ranked among the nation’s top 15 last season. UVa is scheduled to return home the next day for a dual against Appalachian State as well as the ACC finale against Duke.

The Cavaliers will conclude the regular season with a pair of road matches against in-state foes. UVa will travel to George Mason Feb. 17, then to Old Dominion Feb. 20.

UVa will take two weeks off before starting the postseason in John Paul Jones Arena March 5 with the ACC Championships. Virginia will play host to the ACC Championships for the first time since 2004, when UVa hosted the event in University Hall.

The season will be capped by the 2011 NCAA Championships, which will be contested March 17-19 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Virginia enters the season with big expectations after winning the ACC championship and then taking 15th place at the NCAA Championships – the program’s second-best finish at NCAAs. Two-time All-American Chris Henrich headlines a group of seven NCAA qualifiers that return to the mix, while a nationally-ranked recruiting class also joins the program.

Admission to all regular-season matches in Mem Gym is free.

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