This weekend at the NESCAC Championship in Hartford, Conn., the men’s and women’s squash teams had their fair share of successes and both posted marks of 2-2 in the weekend’s events. The women’s side came away with the most to be confident about, as the team’s two wins gave way to its highest-ever finish in NESCAC Championship play.
Entering the weekend seeded seventh, the Cardinal women powered through and left Hartford sporting a sixth-place showing. Posting the same 2-2 record was not enough to climb the table for the men’s team though, as the squad stumbled to a spot below its sixth-place seeding.
Revenge was the key to snatching the sixth spot for the women’s side, as the Cardinals were able to reverse the result of their January loss to Bowdoin by upending the Polar Bears 5-4 in the first round of consolation play. With the result, Wesleyan switched positions with the sixth-seeded Bowdoin, and now the Cardinals have a great deal to feel confident about heading into this weekend’s action, hosted by the defeated Polar Bear squad.
Mary Foster ’14, who has been in solid command of the #1 slot for the Cards since returning for spring-semester play, led the victory with a 3-0 demolition that set off a redemptive tone for the rest of the squad to follow. Depth was key for the Cardinals to take the victory against Bowdoin, as it took decisive victories from the seven through nine spots to secure the Cardinal victories. The same back-end combination of #7 Danielle Craig ’13, #8 Nell Schwed ’14, and #9 Liza Bayless ’16 powered the Cardinals past Conn College in the first round of play in a 7-2 triumph. Still unable to notch a victory against their Little Three foes, the Cardinals bowed out to both Amherst and Williams in a pair of 8-1 defeats.
Action on the men’s side got off to a brilliant start against Tufts despite the absence of the usually stellar Daniel Sneed ’15. Without Sneed, the team relied upon second-year starter Mike DeLalio ’15 to fill in the gap at the #3 spot. It was vintage DeLalio out on the court as he decimated his Tufts counterpart 3-0. The rest of the squad was just as hot, as the Cardinals registered eight victories in their first-round matchup.
The second round, however, was not nearly as fruitful for the Cardinals. The men’s team ran into a hot Bates side that handed the Cards an uneven 7-2 defeat. Even more demoralizing was the first consolation round’s tight loss to rival Amherst. The Lord Jeffs extracted revenge from the Cardinals, who had already beaten them twice in January. The excellent form of both #2 Guy Davidson ’16 and #9 Jeff Berman ’14 held the fort on opposite ends of the match card with perfect 4-0 records on the weekend. These performances allowed the Cardinals to bounce back in their final consolation match against Hamilton College which ended in a comfortable 7-2 margin.
Going forward into the Division III Individual Championships at Bowdoin this weekend, the Cardinals still have a lot to prove. Their potential has been present all season, yet it is only a matter of consistency throughout the match card that will lead to concerted victories for the Cards to close out the year.