Building a 14-6 advantage over visiting Messiah in the opening dual match of the 2010-11 campaign, the Cardinals captured four of the first six bouts with 125-pounder Chris Alvanos '11 (main photo) and 133-pounder Maika Nagata '13 (phoot insert upper left) coming through with major decisions. Alvanos registered a 20-9 victory while Nagata came within two points of a technical fall with a 23-10 decision.
Earlier, Wesleyan got decisions at 184 pounds from Jefferson Ajayi '13, 7-2, and a tight 2-1 win from heavyweight Dave Amrhein '12, based on his 1:10 of riding time. But Messiah, ranked 19th nationally in Division III, took the final four bouts, two of them by pin, to pull out the 24-14 win. Wesleyan and Messiah had met just once before, that during the North-South Duals at Ursinus College in January, 2008, with the Falcons escaping with a 24-21 trumph.
With the release of the latest team and individual rankings in the NEWA (Dec. 13-15), the Cardinals climbed to #3, just ahead of #4 Williams. Nine Cardinals are ranked among the top-eight in their respective weight class, paced by heavyweight Dan Conroy '11 who's second. Joey Schwartz '14 (125), Howard Tobochnik '13 (149) and Troy Sampson '14 (157) are sitting third in their divisions.
Wesleyan's next action will be this season's North-South Duals at Ursinus, taking place Sat., Jan. 8. The Cardinals will take on #16 Cortland St., Wisc.-Whitewater, McDaniel and Stevens Tech in a busy four-match day.