Harvard sophomore Rick Sterne pulloff the major upset of the national intercollegiate squash championships Saturday, defeating Penn's Maurice Heckscher in a gruelling 80-minute quarterfinal match, 16-14, 15-18, 15-14, 13-16, 15-13.
Harvard edged Penn for the tournament team title.
The top-seeded Heckscher, undefeated at number one for Penn this year, could not quite match the inexhaustible retrieving powers and speed of the lefthanded Sterne.
In the semi-finals, Sterne held a commanding lead over Pitt's Larry O'Loughlin, but let him off the hook and bowed, 10-15, 11-15, 18-16, 15-9, 15-9. At one point, Sterne was leading 2-0 in games and 8-1 in the crucial third game.
Harvard's other ace sophomore, Jose Gonsales, almost upset Yale's John West in the quarterfinals, but the hard-hitting number two seed held on, 16-13, 5-15, 15-10, 6-15, 16-14. In the semi-finals, West changed tactics and tried to exchange softer shots with Penn's Howard Coonley. It didn't work, and Coonley won, 3-0.
Coonley also downed O'Loughlin by a 3-0 score in the finals.
Crimson captain Dinny Adams, who had been upset by O'Loughlin in an earlier round, won the consolation tournament by defeating Toronto's Tom McCarthy in the finals, 3-1. His victory enabled Harvard to edge Penn for the national four-man tournament title, 13 1/2-12 1/2. A team is awarded one point for each victory in the regular tournament, a half point for each win in the consolations.