Harvard's varsity racquetmen completed the first half of their squash season yesterday with a 9-0 sweep at Amherst. The Crimson will now carry an undefeated record against stiff competition in the next three weekends.
This Saturday Harvard competes in the national championships in Detroit, the following weekend it hosts Penn for the collegiate team title, and on the third Saturday it seeks individual honors in the intercollegiate tournament at Army.
Playing yesterday without team captain Dave Fish at number two, the Crimson finished Amherst with three-game sweeps at seven different positions. Fish, who reaggravated his tennis elbow in practice on Monday, will be out at least until the Penn match.
Preseason estimations predicted that the Crimson team would be undefeated at this stage of the season, but Harvard has surprised most squash spectators with the strength of its top players. Juniors Andy Weigand and Dan Gordon have dropped only one match between them at numbers two and three this winter.
The most improvement, however, has come from Harvard's number one, Peter Briggs. Rated as only one of the better collegiate players last year. Briggs has now established himself as one of the leading amateur players in the country.
In the Cowles Tournament in New York last weekend, Briggs defeated Penn's Palmer Page, the defending intercollegiate champion, and John Reese, the number-one ranked player in the country last year. Briggs was eliminated in a tough four-game semifinal match with the eventual winner, Vic Niederhoffer.
Niederhoffer finished off second-seeded Anil Nayar, three-time intercollegiate champion at Harvard, in three straight games in the final. So Briggs now ranks as one of the top contenders in both the amateur national championship and the intercollegiates.