With eight of the top nine players back from a 14-12 squad that excelled during the NESCAC tournament a year ago to place sixth, three spots above its seed, but disappointed during the National Team Championship, where the Cardinals placed 23rd after entering the gathering seeded 19th, the 2012-13 Cardinals are looking to repeat their fine outing at NESCACs while holding their top-20 spot at Nationals.
The Cardinals will be a bit short-handed during the first semester when the team will play about 10 of its dual matches. Studying abroad during the first semester are #1 standout John Steele '14, a two-time all-NESCAC choice and Rookie of the Year in 2010-11. He has a marvelous 36-13 record at #1 over two seasons and went 3-2 at the National Individual Championships a year ago. Also abroad until January is Jeff Berman '14, who had a 14-8 mark playing mainly between #3 and #5 in 2011-12. Team co-captains Zander Nassikas '14 (main photo) and Ethan Moritz '14 (photo insert lower left) will lead the squad as the young Cardinals have just one senior among the 15 players on the roster.
Also back to resume their starting spots are #2 Daniel Sneed '15; Mike DeLalio '15, who played mostly at #4; Alex Nunez '14 (#5-#6) and Blair Corbin '15 (mainly #9). Cam Rahbar '15 is also back after going 4-2 in six matches a year ago in the bottom third.
Wesleyan welcomes five newcomers to the team with Guy Davidson '16 tops among the quintet. He will make an immediate impact on the Cardinals' fortunes when they take to the court for their opening matches during the Boston Round Robin Sat. -Sun., Nov. 17-18. There Wesleyan will face stiff challenges from Middlebury, ranked 15th in the preseason, and Brown, ranked 17th, while also taking on Boston College (33) and MIT (31). Wesleyan is ranked 23rd in the preseason national poll with six NESCAC squads bunched between 18 and 23.