Although the varsity squash team failed this year to retain its Eastern Inter-collegiate League Championship, because of two upset defeats at the hands of Navy and Princeton, it will nevertheless be favored to repeat its win--both individual and team--in the Intercollegiate Squash Championships at M.I.T. this weekend.
Because of the phenomenal power at the top five positions, the key to the varsity's win over Yale last Saturday, the Crimson's four-man team of Ben Heckscher, Cal Place, Larry Sears, and Charlie MacVeagh will probably dominate play in the tournament which starts this morning at 9:30 a.m.
Heckscher, the defending Intercollegiate champion and seventh ranked player in the United States, is top seeded and will undoubtedly sweep to his second straight title with little difficulty. This alone will pile up many points for the Crimson in team scoring.
The second man on the varsity delegation, Cal Place, is one of the toughest match players in college squash and will prove very tough to handle for any seeded player he runs across. Place's easy three-game win over Yale's Harvey Sloane, who is eighth seeded in the tournament, is evidence of Place's role as a potential up-setter of the seedings.
Larry Sears will be the third man on the varsity squad and also could do very well in the tournament. He lost only one match in the course of the season and his clever game, which has a deceptive mixture of touch, power and psychology, could be difficult for any opponent to handle.
In the Invitational Intercollegiate Championship held in New York over Christmas vacation, Sears defeated Williams' Ollie Stafford, second seeded player in the weekend's tourney, Dartmouth's Dick Hoehn, third seeded player, and also Sloane. He lost in the finals to Heckscher, 3 to 0.
At the fourth position--on the basis of squad rankings--Charlie MacVeagh will attempt to regain the form which he attained at the end of last season when he rose to the third singles position on the varsity. If he can be at the top of his game, he will provide tough opposition for about any player in the tournament.
MacVeagh will be the first Crimson player to take the court tomorrow when he faces Brown of Fordham at 9:30 a.m. Place and Sears will face Fox and Dvorkin of Cornell at 10:30 a.m. Heckscher has a first round bye, and will play the winner of a match between Tony Ellison of Army and Bill Johnson of McGill in the second round.
The other seeded players, behind Heckscher, Stafford and Hoehn will be Navy's top pair, Griffith and Clark at fourth and fifth seed. This pair led the Navy varsity to the first Eastern Intercollegiate championship in its history. They both won their matches against the Crimson at Annapolis, defeating Place and Sears.
At sixth seed will be Amherst's Bob Dillon, who looked quite good for two games against Heckscher last month, followed by Princeton's Ramsey Vehslage at seventh seed, and Sloane of Yale in the eighth ranked position.