Buffalo, New York. offered little hospitality to the Harvard squash team last weekend as the Crimson racquet-man suffered through the United States Squash Racquet Association's national amateur championship.
Harvard fell victim to a schedule change in the opening round of the tournament and lost to a strong Quebec club. 3-2, The Crimson had expected a relatively easy match with Rochester in the first round.
In the individual tournament, former Harvard captain Anil Nayar was eliminated by John Reese of New York in the quarterfinal round, 11-15, 18-17, 18-16. 15-11. In another quarterfinal match, last year's Crimson captain Larry Terrell fell to Colin Adair of Montreal, 16-18, 15-10, 15-2, 18-15.
Against Quebec, the Crimson won at four and five. Both Ed Atwood and Alan Quasha beat their respective opponents in four games.
At number one, sophomore Peter Briggs dropped the first game after leading, 12-10. at one point, and was narrowly defeated in five games, 15-12, 11-15, 5-15 15-12, 15-10. Jaime Gonzalez lost in three straight games at number three, 15-14, 15-10, 18-16.
Junior Dave Fish had to wait three hours for his opponent to arrive for the final point. After the delay, Fish lost, 15-12, 15-12, 12-15, 15-8.
The Crimson had not expected to win the tournament, but as Briggs put it before he left, "These club tournaments are set up really nice and there's usually good food and entertainment."
But Harvard's first-round defeat was only the start of the team's troubles. A snowstorm set in Friday night and the Crimson's plane to Boston was canceled. Gonzalez and Atwood flew home standby, but Briggs, Fish, and manager Jay Stack decided to rent a car.
Upon arrival at 4 a.m. after an 11 hour drive on the New York Thruway, often at 20 m.p.h., the trio regretted its decision.
"Buffalo's a God-forsaken place," Stack concluded.