"We're out to win the title back," varsity squash coach Jack Barnaby '32 said yesterday. With six returning lettermen and four of the best collegiate players in the country, the racqueters just might.
Last year the Harvard squash team lost the Intercollegiate Team Championship for the first time since 1961, when Navy stole the title by a single point. "The service teams are always tough," Barnaby said.
The squash team opens its season Saturday against Cornell. Leading the Harvard squad will be Anil Nayar '69, who last year won the individual title at the Intercollegiate meet and is widely considered the most talented college player in the country.
Captain Rick Sterne '68 will be playing in the number two position. Last February an operation for the removal of a cyst forced Sterne out of action at midseason. His loss was a crucial blow to the team, but this season Sterne is regaining top form. "He's stronger every day," Barnaby said. "He's a real terror on the court."
Behind Sterne is Larry Terrell '70, who will open the season in the third spot against Cornell. Last year Terrell captained the undefeated freshman team and won the National Junior Championship.
An old rival of Terrell's, Jose Gonzalez '68, will play number four. In 1965 and 1966 Gonzalez won the Junior Nationals, edging out Terrell both times.
Michel Scheinmann '69, John Whitbeck '68, Fritz Hobbs '69, and Bruce Weigand '69, will compete in the fifth through eighth positions. The ninth member of the team has not yet been chosen.
"There are challenge matches every day," Barnaby said. "None of the bottom five players are safe. There is tremendous depth in this squad, and we have a lot of promising athletes." The success of the team may well depend upon the performance of the bottom five players the coach added.
The first real test of the season will be the Army match on Dec. 9. "Army's always tough," Barnaby explained. "They really pound the hell out of the ball." Besides Army, the matches against Amherst and Navy give Barnaby most concern.
Barnaby expects an easy victory over Cornell on Saturday. "Cornell traditionally has not been a major force on the squash court," he said.