The 2014 Wesleyan women’s cross country team will certainly miss the graduated Libby Lazare '14 and Karley Dutra '14 from its ranks. Lazare was the top runner for the Cardinals throughout the 2013 season. The team was very young, however, and there is a great deal of promise in the returning members of the team. Caroline Elmendorf '17 had a very successful track season, running 18:24.51 for the 5K during the indoor season and 4:57.79 in the 1500m during outdoor track. The women will also be looking to Molly Schassberger '17, another talented newcomer in 2013 who saw progression and success throughout the year, ultimately running 18:43.29 in the 5K and 38:35.12 in the 10K during the outdoor track season. Both Schassberger and Elmendorf were part of the Cardinals' scoring five in each cross-country outing a year ago.
With no seniors on the 2013 squad that placed 13th in New England among 50 teams, a very young 2014 Wesleyan men's cross country corps has the rare situation of keeping its entire roster from the previous season. The men will look for leadership from Evan Bieder '15 (middle photo), who showed significant improvements throughout 2013-14, posting a 4:19.47 in the mile, 8:51.80 for the 3000m and 15:10.89 for the 5000m during the track season. Taylor Titcomb '16 (left side photo) looks to be the top runner for the men in the 2014 season. Titcomb ran 15:00.25 in the 5000m during the outdoor track season and should be quite competitive in the fall following a solid summer of training. Chris Conway '16 (right side photo) also stands with a great deal of potential for this upcoming season, having remained consistent and determined throughout the year, posting a time of 8:55.60 in the 3000m and 15:22.98 in the 5000m during indoor track season.
With five returning players, three of them regulars in the singles ladder a year ago and a fourth firmly entrenched as a doubles player, Wesleyan will welcome five newcomers to add significantly to the team's fortunes in 2014-15. Tennis Recruiting Network rated the Cardinals' incoming class of 2018 as third-best among all Division III squads in the nation. Wesleyan posted a 6-8 record in 2013-14, 4-5 in NESCAC play as the team narrowly missed a spot in the NESCAC tournament, ranking seventh behind five NCAA qualifiers and Trinity. Amherst finished as the national runner-up while Williams placed third. Bowdoin made the final eight while both Middlebruy and Tufts also qualified for the NCAAs. Back to lead the Cardinals are team co-captains Anna Howard '15 (main photo) and Maddie James '16 (photo insert lower left).
Returning all 10 players from last season's 9-6 squad that came up one victory shy of qualifying for the NESCAC tournament for a second straight year, men's tennis is looking to regain tournament status for the 2014-15 campaign. The top six squads in the incredibly competitive NESCAC earn spots in the post-season playoffs. Amherst claimed a Division III national title while Middlebury took fourth. Williams reached the third round of the NCAA tournament. Last year, Wesleyan placed seventh in the NESCAC with wins over Bates, Colby, Hamilton and Conn. College and ended the year ranked 32nd nationally. A tough 5-4 loss to Trinity, which received the #5 seed in the playoffs, kept Wesleyan from appearing in the post-season, as it did in 2013. The Cardinals had newcomers playing #1 and #2 last year as Jake Roberts '17 went 9-8 at the top spot while Michael Liu '17 was 10-3 at #2 and 11-4 overall. Team captain Sam Rudovsky '16 (photo) occupied the #3 spot at the end of the season with Stephen Monk '15 at #4. Michael King '16 was most often seen at #5 and Zacho Brint '16 handled #6.
Posting their best record in 16 years, ending a 43-year drought on Little Three titles by defeating both Amherst and Williams, and tying for the NESCAC crown with their 7-1 mark in 2013, the football Cardinals are looking to extend their success into 2014 with a senior-ladened squad. Wesleyan returns 47 letterwinners and 19 starters from last season's stellar crew. Twenty-nine of those 47 lettermen are either seniors or grad students. Team quad-captains Jake Bussani '14 (#1, photo lower right) and Donnie Cimino '15 (#11, photo upper left) were both first-team all-NESCAC a year ago, Bussani for the third time. Cimino was a second-teamer in 2012. Both are preseason All-Americans from their spots in the secondary. Quad-captains Jon Day '15 (#29, photo upper right) and Jay Fabien '15 (#80, photo lower left) are both receivers, Day at tight end and Fabien at wide receiver, and both are all-NESCAC honorees as well, Day in 2013 and Fabien in 2012.
Wesleyan volleyball returns starting hitters Abby Southam '16 and Sara Warnock '16 along with three-year starting setter Claire Larson '15 (#13, main photo), one of the team's co-captains, from last year's 8-15 squad to carry the load for 2014. Also back is starting libero Rachel Savage '17, who paced the squad in digs with 3.67 per set in 2013. The Cardinals have seven additional returning letterwinners including consistent defensive specialists Brittany Lo '15 and Natalie Wildenradt '15. Jen Farris '16, Naja Lewis '17 and Brittany Curran '16 each saw action in at least eight matches last season and will be looked upon for more service in 2014. Ariel Kaluzhny '16, Heidi Westerman '17 and team co-captain Emily Shames '15 (#18, photo insert lower right) also return to the team.
Playing in the most competitive Division III women's soccer conference in the nation, Wesleyan showed the ability to play toe-to-toe with some of the country's elite teams in 2013, and will be looking to turn that promise into success on the pitch in 2014. Last year, five NESCAC teams were chosen for the NCAA Division III Championship with Middlebury advancing to the Final Four. Wesleyan posted a 1-2-2 regular-season record against these five standouts (Amherst, Bowdoin, Trinity and Williams along with Middlebury) en route to a 2-7-6 overall record. The Cardinals defeated or tied six of its 10 NESCAC rivals as the four conference losses is the second lowest for Wesleyan in the 14-year history of round-robin NESCAC play. The Cardinals return 19 letterwinners from 2013, led by team tri-captains Brynn Hansson '15 (#3, photo insert lower right), Katy Hardt '15 (#9, photo insert upper right) and Hannah Stone '15 (#17, main photo).
Boasting one of the most experienced squads in Cardinal men's soccer history, Wesleyan returns 18 letterwinners and all 11 starters from a 2013 squad that posted a solid 9-6-1 record, including a 7-3 NESCAC mark to earn the #2 seed in the NESCAC tournament. Wesleyan defeated Conn. College in the NESCAC quarterfinals, 1-0, the seventh 1-0 win for Wesleyan during the season, before falling in the semifinals to Williams, 2-1. Williams went on to reach the NCAA Division III Final Four by knocking off Amherst, the NESCAC champion, in a national quarterfinal, 1-0. With their wealth of experience and talent, the Cardinals will be looking for their third NCAA tournament bid in the last four years as the 2014 campaign unfolds. Led by team co-captains Ben Bratt '15 (#4, main photo) and Daniel Issroff '15 (#15, photo insert upper left), Wesleyan has eight sturdy seniors to guide the team on its quest for national prominence.
Returning 16 letterwinners from the 6-9 squad of 2013 which posted a 4-6 record in the ultra-competitive NESCAC, the Cardinals have eight starters back to keep Wesleyan fighting hard against the nation's best. Five of the last seven NCAA Division III champions have come from the ranks of the NESCAC with eight NESCAC squads competing in those seven title matches. Leading the Cardinals into 2014 are team co-captains Anna Howard '15 (left side photo) and Hannah Plappert '16 (right side photo). With the graduation of top scorers Blair Ingraham '14, who was all-NESCAC and all-region, and Amber Bruckner '14, as well as talented defender Taylor Wells '14, the Cardinals will rely on Plappert, Mackey Hemphill '15 and Michaela Celella '16 to pick up the scoring punch with assistance from Vanessa Block '15.