Ending the first-semester's action with a solid 7-2 victory over in-state NESCAC rival Conn. College Thurs., Dec. 9, the Cardinals closed out the opening nine matches with a 7-2 mark. It is the first time the Cardinals have held a 7-2 record through nine outings since the 1998-99 season when Wesleyan began the year with a 10-2 posting en route to a 13-7 final record.
Helping Wesleyan to its seventh victory in contrasting styles were #5 Jeff Berman '14 (main photo) and #8 Lucas Wherry '13 (photo insert upper left). Berman was one of just three Cardinals to come through with a 3-0 decision over his Camel foe. Joining him was #1 John Steele and #6 Alex Nunez '14. #4 Zander Nassikas '14 was on his way to a 2-0 lead when his Conn adversary was forced to retire due to injury. Wherry was one of three Cardinals to win in a fifth and deciding game. Matt Candal '11, at #2, and Dale Kobrin '11, at #3, were the other two. Wherry and Berman are riding seven-match win streaks and sit atop the team, along with Steele, by holding overall 8-1 marks.
Over the weekend of Fri.-Sun., Dec. 3-5, Wesleyan downed both Tufts and Colby during the Wesleyan Round Robin, becoming the first Cardinal squad to knock off the Jumbos and Mules in the same year since 2003-04. The Cardinals went 4-1 during the Round Robin while defeating three teams that began the weekend ranked ahead of Wesleyan in the CSA national rankings of 11/23. The CSA released its updated poll Dec. 9 and Wesleyan was the biggest mover in the rankings, rising to #22 of the 59 ranked teams, after sitting 29th in the previous poll.
In knocking off Colby, 7-2, Sat., Dec. 4, the Cardinals made good against the #24-ranked Mules. The day before, Wesleyan conquered #23 Tufts, 9-0. Only Berman came through for the Cardinals in the minimum number of games against Colby. Five others Cardinals were 3-1 victors while Steele produced a 3-2 win.
Falling to #16 ranked George Washington, 7-2, Wesleyan's winners were Berman and Wherry.
Steele, Wherry and Berman were all winners after an 8-1 team win over #28 Georgetown Sun., Dec. 5, to close out the Round Robin. Each had a challenge as Wherry won in five games while Steele and Berman were victorious in four games. Kobrin, Nunez, and #9 Chase Hochman '14 posted 3-0 wins.
The Cardinals resume action during the second semester in the Pioneer Valley Invitational, jointly hosted by Smith, Amherst and Mount Holyoke Fri.-Sun., Jan 14-16. Wesleyan begins play Sat., Jan. 15 with matches against #9 F & M and #14 St. Lawrence, both slated for Amherst. On Sun., Jan. 16, the Cards finish up against #26 Conn. College and #27 Columbia, with the former at Amherst and the latter at Smith. Before embarking upon the second semester's matches, the team will spend a week in Arizona training at a resort. To follow the team's Western exploits, click < here > for the squad's blog.
Sarurday of the Pioneer Valley Invitational, the Cardinals did, Indeed, find the going rough againsy F & M and St. Lawrence, dropping matches by scores of 9-0 and 8-1, respectively. Steele was the Cardinals lone winner against the Saints, copping a 3-1 victory, while matches by Candal, Nassikas and Berman all went a full five games, meaning a much closer match than the final score might indicate. Day two of the competition Sunday looks much more promising.