New #1 John Steele Goes 3-0 During Opening Weekend of Play as Cardinals Take Two of Three Matches
Stepping right into the top spot of the Cardinals' ladder from the opening match against Northeastern Sat., Nov. 20, John Steele '14 (photo) was the lone Cardinal to post a 3-0 mark during matches over the weekend as Wesleyan downed Northeastern, 8-1, and M.I.T., 9-0, while dropping an 8-1 decision to NESCAC rival Bates.
Ranked #27 in the preseason CSA national poll, Wesleyan captured the comfortable victories over the local Boston squads as Northeasten was ranked #30 and M.I.T. #32. Facing #12 Bates, Steele came through with a 3-2 triumph, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two games, 11-8 and 11-6. Jeff Berman '14, playing #5, was the only other Cardinal to take a game from his Bobcat adversary, losing 3-1.
As expected, Wesleyan's starting lineup featured six freshmen with each posting a 2-1 record other than Steele. Two of the three upperclassmen, co-captains Dale Kobrin '11 and Matt Candal '11, occupied positions #2 and #3, respectively, on the ladder. Demonstrating the nature of the additional talent on board in 2010-11, Lucas Wherry '13, who posted a 15-10 record a year ago while playing 14 matches at #6 and 11 at #7, spent his time in Boston manning the #9 spot.
The Cardinals will put their freshman-ladened lineup to the test again Fri., Dec. 3 when they take on NESCAC foe Tufts to open the three-day Wesleyan Round Robin. Tufts is ranked #20 in the preseason poll and defeated Wesleyan, 8-1, last year. This gives the team members a great opportunity to demonstrate the squad's improvement. Wesleyan has a pair of matches scheduled for Saturday and two more on Sunday to close out the event.