Defeating #3 Plymouth St, and #4 Williams for the second time in a two-week stretch, the Cardinals, ranked #2 in NEWA, swept a four-team competition hosted by Williams Sat., Feb. 5, downing PSU, 39-4, Williams, 30-10, as well as Oneonta St., 24-15. The Cardials then finished off the dual-meet season at home Fri., Feb. 11 by rolling past A.I.C., 48-3. The squad captured 16 of its final 17 matches, giving head coach Drew Black (photo insert upper left) 131 career victories at Wesleyan in 13 seasons at the helm. He eclipsed the school record for career coaching victories in wrestling, held by John Biddiscombe, the college's athletics director, who had 127 wins over 15 seasons.
Chris Alvanos '11 (photo insert lower left) and Kyle Roosa '13 (main photo) both went 3-0 during the proceedings at Williams. Roosa was rerwarded with NEWA Wrestler of thr Week honors. Alvanos, at 125 pounds, started a run of four consecutive pins against PSU that helped the Cardinals run away with the score in the opener. Maika Nagata '13 (133), Nick Scotto '13 (141) and Howard Tobochnik '13 (149) finished off the string. Roosa had a 9-4 decision at 174 pounds.
Against Williams, Wesleyan found itself trailing 10-0 after three bouts before running off seven consecutive wins, three of them by forfeit against the short-trooped Ephs. Roosa finished off the triumph with another decision as the Cards captured four of the seven bouts wrestled.
The final match vs. Oneonta proved the most competitive with Tom Oddo '12 posting a key 4-2 win at 165 with the match on the line. Wesleyan held a slim 16-15 margin with two bouts remaining. His victory, making him 3-0 on the day, cushoned the Cardinals' margin to 19-15 and Roosa put on the finishing touches with a 15-0 technical fall for the 24-15 score. Alvanos posted a 15-3 major decision and Tobochnik became the lone Cardinal with two pins on the day, picking up a fall in the first period to put Wesleyan ahead for good, 16-12.
Against, AIC, it was not contest as Wesleyan opened with pins by Alvanos and Nagata for quick 12-0 lead. Two forfeits and a technical fall by Tobochnik raised the margin to 29-0 and the rout was on. Roosa and Ajayi added decisions, the former a major, along with two more forfeits for the final 48-3 result. Alvanos ended the year with a 19-1 dual-meet mark to pace the team. Roosa was next at 16-4.
With its 16 victories, Wesleyan has its second-highest seasonal total in school history, trailing only the 17-2 squad of 2001-02. Next up for the team will be the sub-varsity NEWA Championships (Futures Meet) at Soringfield Sun., Feb. 20, before the varsity squad takes to the mats at Trinity Sat./Sun., Feb. 26-27 in the NEWA Championships. At that time, individuals will qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships along with final team rankings based on individual performances. Wesleyan goes into the NEWA tournament ranked #1 with an individual ranked in the top-8 at every weight class. The top six finishers in each weight are deemed all-NEWA. The winner of each weight receives an automatic bid to the NCAAS while a handful of non-winners are selected at-large for Nationals after a vote of the coaches.
At the Futures Meet, Wesleyan outpointed the competition and had 10 placers in the seven weight classes covered including champion Alex Cannon '14 at 149 with a 3-0 mark, all by pin. He was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. Jake Sheffer '14 was runner-up at heavyweight while Greg Faxon '14 (141), Jake Barack '14 (157), Dave Amrhein '12 (197) and Greg Tanenbaum '13 (133) all finished third. Justin Metz '14 (133) and Bryant Jirivisitcul '11 (149) grabbed fourth and Nick Matayoshi '11 (125) and Nick Tuuer (157) were fifth.