Facing #12 Columbia on Fri., Jan. 17, followed by matches vs. #26 Stanford and #6 Franklin & Marshall on Sat., Jan. 18, and finishing with a matchup vs. #24 Colby Sun., Jan. 19, Wesleyan came back from the Pioneer Valley Invitational in central Massachusetts with a 2-2 mark. The #16-ranked Cardinals comfortably handled the two teams behind them in the rankings, defeating both Stanford and Colby by 9-0 counts while taking a pair of matches vs. Columbia and coming up empty against the powerhouse Diplomats of F&M.
Mike DeLalio '15 (photo), playing at #3, posted the best record of the weekend with a 3-1 mark as both he and #8 Chris Hart '17 were winners against Columbia, both prevailing by 3-2 scores. Seven of nine players were 3-0 winners against Stanford as the Cardinals got to use some lower ladder competitors from #6 through #9 while resting the regulars. Only #1 John Steele '14 and #2 Guy Davidson '16 managed to capture a game against F&M. The Colby match proved the most interesting as despite the convincing 9-0 team triumph, three matches went 3-2 while two others were 3-1 conquests. Steele annd Davidson at the top two rungs, as well as Hart and Alex Kamisher '17 at the bottom two rungs, captured 3-0 victories.
On Sat., Jan 25, the squad faced Drexel, ranked just ahead of the Cardinals at #15, in an exciting rematch of last year's CSA National Team Championships. Wesleyan came through with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Drexel in the opening round of the "C" Division en route to runner-up status in the bracket. This time, it was Drexel pulling out a dramatic 5-4 win. Posting 3-2 wins for the Cardinals were Daniel Sneed '15 at #4, Hart at #7 and Zander Nassikas '14 at #8. Kamisher came up with a more convincing 3-1 triumph. Three Wesleyan setbacks came by 3-1 counts while another was a 3-2 loss.
Wesleyan heads to Amherst Sun., Jan 26 in search of its first ever outright Little Three title. The Cardinals last shared the crown during the 1979-80 campaign with a 5-4 win over Amherst and 6-3 setback vs. Williams while the Lord Jeffs upset the Ephs, 6-3.