Taking on 20th-ranked Bowdoin and 23rd-ranked Colby in a tri-match in Brunswick, Me. Wed., Jan. 18, Wesleyan battled to a pair of 5-4 decisions, conquering Colby while falling to Bowdoin. The Cardinals, who moved up to #18 nationally, took a 9-4 record with them to central Mass. for the Pionerr Valley Invitational, taking on Hamilton and Haverford Sat., Jan. 21 to inaugurate the tournament, then finishing with F&M and Columbia on Sun., Jan. 22.
In Maine, #4 Mike DeLalio '15 (photo) was a two-time winner, defeating both his rivals by a 3-1 count. He was one of three Cardinals to go 2-0 on the day, joined by #6 Zander Nassikas '14 and #7 Ethan Moritz '14, who took both his matches by a 3-0 count. Nassikas was a 3-1 victor vs. Colby and a 3-2 winner against the host. #3 Jeff Berman '14 and #5 Alex Nunzez '14 also picked up a triumph against Colby to help secure the team win.
On the opening day of the Pioneer Invite, Wesleyan was upset by #24 Hamilton, 5-4. Though Steele, DeLalio, Nunez and Nassikas all won by 3-0 scores, two other Cardinals lost 3-1 while a third fell by a 3-2 count. Against Haverford, Wesleyan was a 9-0 winner while resting two of its top five players.
On the final day of the Pioneer Valley Invite, Wesleyan fell to F&M, 9-0, and the match with Columbia was cancelled as Columbia chose not to atend do to weather issues.
Up next for the team is the Little Three competition, this year hosted by Wesleyan Sat., Jan. 28.