Facing Tufts, Wellesley, Smith, William Smith and Vassar over the two days of the Wesleyan Round Robin Sat.-Sun, Dec. 1-2, the Cardinals came away with a 5-0 mark to improve their record this season to 7-2. The 18th-ranked Cardinals then added a convincing 7-2 victory over Mount Holyoke (#17) Wed., Dec. 5 and closed out the semester by downing Conn. College (#28) Fri., Dec. 7, 8-1. Now with a 9-2 record on the season, the Cardinals are off to their best start since the 1996-97 campaign when the team opened 10-1 on its way to a best-ever 19-5 season.
Lauren Nelson '15 (photo) was one of two Cardinals to equal the team's mark for the weekend as she was undefeated at #3 without dropping a game. In 15 games, she held her rival to six points or less 14 times. At #2, Annie Maxwell '15 also went 5-0, yielding just two games to her Tufts rival but posting 3-0 wins the rest of the weekend. Wesleyan only lost four matches in the five affairs as the team conquered everyone but Smith by an 8-1 score while sweeping the Pioneers. The five teams played were all ranked between 24th and 34th in the national rankings. Wesleyan got 4-0 performances from #4 Danielle Craig '13, #5 Nell Schwed '14, #6 Kar-Anne Tan '14, #7 Claire Miller '15 and #8 Liza Bayless '16.
It was the lower portion of the lineup that helped the Cardinals end an 11-year, 17-match skid vs. Mount Holyoke as Wesleyan had not defeated the Lyons since the Howe Cup matches of 2002. Wesleyan swept each match from #6 Tan through #9 Rosa Hayes '13 while Craig also took a handy 3-0 decision. Both Nelson and Schwed were 3-1 victors.
Against Conn, the Cardinals won six of nine matches in sweeps to make short work of the evening. Maxwell, Craig, Schwed, Tan, Bayless and Hayes were the 3-0 winners while Nelson and Miller proved victorious by a 3-1 count. Wesleyan has defeated Conn 11 consecutive times since 2007-08 and has now won eight consecutive matches this season.. Nelson, named College Squash Association Player of the Week (Dec. 12 announcement), is the lone Cardinal to have equaled the team's record at 9-2 thus far.
Wesleyan resumes play in January with a match against Bowdoin slated for Sun., Jan. 18.