Competing in the 10th annual New England
Wrestling Association (NEWA) Duals (actually the 11th time it was
scheduled to be held but snow wiped out the 2004-05 Duals), Wesleyan
came away with its third-ever top-three posting by going 3-1 to match
its seeding with a third-place performance among 15 squads.
The Cardinals opened with an easy 47-0 victory over 14th-seeded WPI, then downed #6 seed Roger Williams for the second time this season, 28-9, to reach the semi-finals. Tackling #2 seed Johnson & Wales, a team Wesleyan lost to 28-7 a week earlier, Wesleyan faired better but lost 24-13. In the final match of the afternoon, Wesleyan took on #4 seed R.I.C. and rolled to a 32-10 triumph.
Three Cardinals came through with a 4-0 mark during the duals. At 157 pounds, Dave Bachy '10 (main photo) picked up pins against WPI and R.I.C while posting decisions vs. RWU and JWU. Josh Berkovic '10 (photo insert lower right) was a rock at 165 pounds as he had decisions vs. RWU and JWU with technical falls vs. WPI and R.I.C. Greg Hurd '10 (photo insert upper left) had a decision vs. WPI and a technical fall vs. RWU at 174. He bumped up to 184 for a major decision vs. JWU and picked up a forfeit win vs. R.I.C.
Over the four matches, Wesleyan went 28-12 as a group. The seeding for the NEWA Duals was almost perfect as each of the top eight squads finished on their seed. Williams won the Duals, defeating JWU, 31-15, in the finals. Of the bottom seven, only Norwich, which was seeded ninth and placed 12th, and Trinity, seeded 12th with a 10th-place finish, was more than one spot off its expected placing.
Wesleyan's highest-ever finish in the Duals came when the Cardinals hosted the event during the 2001-02 season and came in second. Wesleyan grabbed third during the 2006-07 season. Wesleyan was sixth a year ago.
Wesleyan hosted Western New England Fri., Jan. 29 in its first match after the Duals and made extremely short work of the evening by down the Golden Bears, 55-0. Wesleyan got four pins in the match including one in just 18 seconds from Hurd. The others came from Bloom, Howard Tobochnik '13 and Bachy, all in the first period.
Wesleyan then wrapped up the week by visiting R.I.C. for its next match Sat., Jan. 30 where the Cards faced both the host Archormen and Springfield in a three-way affair. In a tight battle, Wesleyan got wins from Bachy, Berkovic, Hurd and Luke Erickson '12 (197 pounds) but Springfield captured six matches, including tight decisions of 4-3 and 3-1, to pull out a 20-12 win after the Cardinals forged a 12-6 lead through six bouts. Wesleyan then downed R.I.C. convincingly for the second time in six days, 31-14, aided by a pair of forfeits. Berkovic highlighted the match for the Cards with a second-period fall. Bachy registered a major decision while Hurd was the beneficiary of one of the forfeits. Maika Nagata '13 also picked up a pin for the Cards at 133 pounds, that coming in the first period.
Wesleyan has one more dual-match competition ahead as the team travels to Oneonta St. Sat., Feb. 6 to face the host, Lycoming and Little Three rival Williams, the top ranked team in New England.