Seeded seventh among the 14 squads in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA), Wesleyan went 2-2 during the annual NEWA Duals, this season hosted by Bridgewater St. Sun., Jan. 26. The Cardinals had a solid day on the mats, winning 20 of 32 matches actually wrestled. The Cardinals team efforts were hampered by six forfeits do to an open weight class at heavyweight and injuries. Thus, nearly half the team points collected by Wesleyan's four opponents came that way. Wesleyan began with a 33-18 victory over #10 Southern Maine before falling in a tight battle to second-seeded Johnson & Wales, 21-15. The Cardinals then dropped a 29-13 decision to #6 WPI before rebounding in the match for seventh place by decimating #8 Coast Guard, 31-9, winning seven of the eight matches wrestled while trading forfeits.
Leading Wesleyann on the day were 165-pounder Alex Cannon '14 (top photo) and Ryan Sblendorio '15 (bottom photo), who competed twice at 174 and once at 184. Each went 3-0 during the competition with Cannon, named to the all-tournament team, most impressive behind a pin vs. Southern Maine, a major decision vs. WPI and an exciting 3-2 victory vs. Coast Guard. Sblendorio had a pair of pins, getting falls against Southern Maine and Coast Guard, while registering a decision vs. JWU. James Hamilton '16 also had a three-victory tournament at 125 pounds, going 3-1 with three decisions. Josh Roometua '16 was 3-1 with one win by forfeit, handing duties at 197 pounds.
Up next for the team was a match against Springfield, which finished second in the NEWA Duals. The match took place Sat., Feb. 1 in Clifton Park, N.Y. at Shenendehowa High School. Wesleyan captured three of the eight wrestled matches as Sblendorio came up with a first-period pin at 184. Taking decisions were 141-pounder Matt Pelton '17 and 174-pounder Taran Carr '16. Springfield took the match, 29-12, taking four decisions and a technical fall along woth forfeit wins at heavyweight and 125.
The Cardinals are back in action Sat., Feb. 8, visiting Oneonta for a quad match with Williams and Ithaca as the other two teams.