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Buffalo releases 2006-07 schedule



BUFFALO, N.Y. - The University at Buffalo wrestling team finalized its 2006-07 schedule Tuesday, providing the necessary components to provide a similar, if not better, Bulls squad that produced three NCAA qualifiers a season ago.

"Our goals are always to be great," says head coach Jim Beichner. "We have got a very tough group of guys who can do some damage nationally. As good as we were last year, this team could potentially be ever better."

The Bulls, led by senior captain Mark Budd (Orrville, OH/Orrville), get a chance to prove themselves worthy of a coveted starting spot at the fourth annual UB Open on November 5th, where each grappler will tussle through eliminations and determine who the top guy will be at each class.

"The UB Open is out first elimination," coach Beichner said. "We are going to see who competes, who does well, who does not, and that will determine who will travel the following week to the Oklahoma Gold Classic.
With good competition, somebody will step up and become pretty tough."

The following week is the Oklahoma Gold Classic, a meet that provides stiff competition from the likes of perennial powerhouses, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Army. Another Ivy League opponent lingers on November 15th, where the squad will have its first dual meet against Princeton at Alumni Arena.

Two tournaments, the Mat Town USA tournament and the Las Vegas Invitational, will again prepare the Bulls for possibly its toughest dual meet of the year with Edinboro on December 9th. Edinboro finished eighth at last year's NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, and squeezed out a favorable score of 20-13 against Buffalo last year.

A stretch of dual, tri-, and quad-meets set up the team's first Mid-American Conference showdown with Northern Illinois on January 14th at Alumni Arena. Five days later, UB will host the New York State Collegiate Championships, a tournament that pit 17 teams last season against each other. Buffalo scored second in the meet held in Oswego, NY with 134.5 points.

The Bulls square off against Ohio on the 27th to end the month, only to get set for back-to-back conference dual meets with Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan starting on February 3rd. Central Michigan, with 102.5 points at the MAC Championships, claimed the regular season and conference crown while placing 26th out of 64 teams in the NCAA Championships.

UB ends its regular season at Binghamton on February 17th, giving it ample time to prepare for the MAC Championships on March 3rd. The championships are being held this year at UB' Alumni Arena.

"We are capable of doing great things," coach Beichner said. "The guys believe in the coaching staff, the team, and the university, and that's what is going to make us a very solid performer."
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