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2009-10 Wrestling Schedule
Liberty wrestling fans wanting additional chances to watch their three-time defending NCAA East Regional champions will get their wish during the upcoming 2009-10 season. The Flames will hold five events on campus, spotlighting next season's slate.
Two-time D1CW East Region Coach of the Year Jesse Castro and his Flames will open their 2009-10 schedule at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport, N.Y., on Nov. 7.
The following weekend, Liberty will open the home portion of its schedule with a tri-match on Nov. 14 against The Citadel and Campbellsville. The Flames have won their past two dual events against Campbellsville, with their last win coming in a 26-9 victory at the Campbellsville Duals on Dec. 8, 2007.
The Flames have also had recent success against The Citadel, handing the Bulldogs a 22-15 setback on Nov. 15, last year in Charleston, S.C. The last time the Bulldogs visited Liberty Mountain, Liberty also proved victorious, notching a victory by the same margin, 22-15, during the Liberty Quad on Jan. 26, 2007. All in all, Liberty is 3-0 against the Bulldogs under Castro, as the Flames picked up a 24-21 win over The Citadel at the Virginia Duals on Jan. 13, 2007.
Liberty will close out the month of November with two road events. The first will be a new addition to the Flames' schedule, as Liberty will participate in the Keystone Classic, hosted by Penn on Nov. 22 in Philadelphia, Pa.
The following weekend, the Flames will close out the 11th month of the year with their third-straight trip to the Hoosier Duals, hosted by Indiana. During this year's event, the Flames will face off against Cal State Fullerton, Chattanooga, Northern Illinois and South Dakota. During last year's Duals in Bloomington, Ind., the Flames posted victories over Cumberlands (30-6) and South Dakota State (25-21).
During the month of December, the Flames will hone their wrestling skills at three events, beginning with a quad hosted by Binghamton on Dec. 12. Liberty will also face off against the Merchant Marine and Princeton in Binghamton, N.Y.
On Dec. 20, the Flames will make their fourth-straight run in the Reno Tournament of Champions. Liberty's strongest showing in its previous three trips to Reno, Nev., was a 13th-place showing during the 2006 event on Dec. 20.
Last year, the Flames run to their third-straight NCAA East Regional title was jumpstarted by a strong showing at the Southern Scuffle, as Liberty finished 16th out of 31 teams. The Flames return to Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29-30, for their third-straight appearance at the event, which will close out the 2009 calendar year for the program.
After the New Year, the Flames will return to the mats to begin full-time dual action at the Virginia Duals in Virginia Beach, Va., on Jan. 8 and 9.
The Flames will close out the month of January with two home duals over a one-week period. The Flames will welcome Bucknell to the Vines Center on Jan. 23. The Bison have won the last two duals between the programs, including last year's 37-12 victory in Lewisburg, Pa.
Seven days later (Jan. 30), Liberty will host Campbell in Lynchburg in a battle between two NCAA East Regional programs. Last year, the Flames knocked off the Camels, 27-12, on the road.
Sandwiched between home duals between Bucknell and Campbell, the Flames will make the trek over the Blue Ridge Mountains to face VMI on Jan. 27. Liberty has captured the team victory the last three times on the mats against the Keydets, including a 38-9 victory at home last season.
UNC Greensboro returns to the Vines Center on Feb. 2, where the Flames will look to make it two in a row at home against the Spartans, following a 22-15 victory in their last home meeting on Feb. 5, 2008.
Four days later, the Flames will travel to Buies Creek, N.C., for the Eastern Regional Duals at Campbell. Liberty is the two-time defending champion in the dual event, which previews the NCAA Regional Qualifier in March.
The Flames will close out the dual portion of their schedule with three events over the second half of the month of February, beginning with a home dual against Rutgers on Feb. 12.
Later in the month, Liberty will travel to Fairfax, Va., on Feb. 18 to face George Mason, hoping to make it two in a row against the Patriots, following a 23-19 dual victory last year.
Liberty's final dual event of the season will also be a rematch from the 2008-09 schedule, as the Flame look to make it two straight over Appalachian State, following a 24-18 home victory last season. This year's regular season finale will take place in Boone, N.C., on Feb. 23.
The Flames will put the experience gained during the preceding events during the 2009-10 schedule to use, when Liberty looks to defend three-straight regional titles at the NCAA East Regional Qualifier. This season's event will be hosted by Millersville in Millersville, Pa.
Over the past three seasons, the Flames have sent 16 grapplers to the national championships, which ranks tied for No. 29 among Division I program during the three-year time span.
Besides looking to capture a fourth team title at the regional qualifier on March 6, the Flames will look to send additional wrestlers to this year's NCAA National Wrestling Championship, which will be hosted by Nebraska in Omaha, Neb., on March 18-20.