After a 24-year, 28-match streak against Amherst without a victory, despite some close scores, Wesleyan left no doubt that its 5-4 win over Amherst Jan. 20 to end the long string was no fluke as the Cardinals secured a 6-3 triumph over Amherst during the Little Three matches at Williams Sat., Jan. 26. Williams won the Little Three crown with victories over both Wesleyan and Amherst as the Ephs defeated the Cardinals, 8-1.
Guy Davidson '16 (photo), who has found a home as the team's #2 player behind two-time all-NESCAC choice John Steele '14, took victories from both his Little Three rivals including a 3-1 win vs. Amherst and a 3-2 conquest vs. Williams, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the latter and capturing the deciding game by a resounding 11-2 count. Davidson played #1 for Wesleyan during the opening eight matches while Steele was abroad and fashioned a 5-3 record. He is 6-0 at #2, making him 11-3 overall.
Also winning for the Cardinals against Amherst was #5 Mike DeLalio '14, who was not in the lineup during the first meeting with the Lord Jeffs due to a hand injury. He made the most of his opportunity this time with a 3-2 win, taking the fifth game, 11-3. Repeat winners for the Cardinals included Zander Nassikas '14, as he won 3-0 at #4; Blair Corbin '15 at #8 (3-1); and Jeff Berman '14 at #9 (3-1). Turning it around was #7 Raheem Logan '16, as he won 3-1 after coming up short at #6 in the first battle with Amherst.
Against Williams, while Davidson was the lone Wesleyan winner, both Nassikas and #6 Ethan Moritz '14 snagged a game from their Eph foe.
The Cardinals were right back on the court Sun., Jan. 27, hosting powerful Navy, ranked 15th nationally, and Stanford, ranked 26th. Wesleyan improved three spots in the latest rankings, released Jan. 20, as the Cardinals moved up from #24 to #21, one spot ahead of Amherst. The Cardinals fell to Navy, 7-2, with Davidson a 3-2 winner to up his mark at #2 to 7-0, while DeLalio also came through with a victory, 3-1. Both Steele and Sneed captured a game in their matches. Wesleyan had little trouble disposing of Stanford, winning 9-0, while resting Davidson and Nassikas. That gave Jason Bradner '16 a chance for a 3-0 win at #8 and Cam Rahbar '15 did the same at #9.
Wesleyan is the dividing line among NESCAC teams in the national rankings as five are higher in the rankings and five are lower as the NESCAC Championship is up next for the team Fri.-Sun., Feb. 1-3, at Trinity. If those ranking hold true for the seeding, Wesleyan will be seeded sixth and will take on the 11th seed in the first round, likely Tufts. If Wesleyan is victorious (Wesleyan defeated Tufts, 8-1, earlier this season), the Cardinals next opponent will be the third seed, possibly Bates.