Getting 3-0 victories at the top two rungs as well as the bottom two rungs as well as three other victories in between, the Cardinals downed Colby, 7-2, on the opening day of the NESCAC Championship hosted by Hamilton Fri., Jan. 31, to advance to the tournament quarterfinals. Wesleyan had the dubious task of taking on top-seeded Trinity in its next match Sat., Feb. 1. The Bantams prevailed, 9-0, pitting Wesleyan against fourth-seeded Hamilton. The Cardinals came up short in that match as well, losing by an 8-1 count. Wesleyan had a final match Sun., Feb. 2 vs. #7 Bowdoin to determine its final placing. Bowdoin captured a 7-2 decision that was much tighter than the score indicated, leaving Wesleyan on its seed as #8.
Wesleyan got sweeps from Mary Foster '14 and Lauren Nelson '15 at spots #1 and #2, along with 3-0 conquerings from #8 Abigail Smith '17 (photo) and #9 Hannah Plon '14 against Colby. Also winning for the Cardinals were #4 Liza Bayless '16 (3-2), #6 Claire Miller '15 (3-1) and #7 Miranda Linsky '14 (3-1). Twelve days earlier, Wesleyan had beaten Colby, 6-3, during the Pioneer Valley Invitational at Amherst.
Against Trinity, only Smith avoided a 3-0 loss as she captured the first game of her match but fell, 3-1. Annie Maxwell '15 was the lone Cardinal winner against Hamilton, prevailing 3-0. Bayless pressed her Continental rival to five games while all other Cardinals were 3-0 victims.
In the Bowdoin match, Smith and Plon were the Cardinal winners as each went 2-2 over the weekend. Three of the Cardinals' losses went five games so reversals in the last game of each of those matches would have swung the team result in the Cardinals' favor.
Ahead for the squad is a trip to Bowdoin Fri.-Sun., Feb. 7-9 for the Division III Individual Championships.