In a little-publicized table tennis tournament against Brown and MIT, a ten-man Harvard team lost matches to both schools last Saturday at Currier House.
Table tennis is scored in two divisions. Division I is comprised of nine individual matches with three players playing three matches each. The team with five or more wins takes the division and scores three points. Division II is scored the same as Division I except the winning team only gains two points.
Harvard was soundly trounced by Brown in both divisions, with team captain Jeff Golan winning the only individual match for Harvard. The table-tennis players fared better against MIT, winning three out of nine possible matches in each division.
Golan said Harvard's best player in the tournament was Jim Dahlen, ranked number one on the team, and Rick Climan, ranked as one of the top players in Division II. Each competitor won two matches against MIT.
Many of the MIT players use a penholder grip. This grip, introduced by the team of the People's Republic of China, caused the Harvard team (which mainly use the traditional shake-hands grip), to go on the defensive.
The game was characterized by blocking and pushing rather than the more exciting long rallies and smashes. Spin became the crucial element for many of the games.
Golan, who spoke of table tennis as being "a very intense game," explained the importance of concentration and quick reflexes. "Things happen very quickly," he said.
The two losses to MIT and Brown brought the team's season record to 0-3. The other loss was to Columbia, ranked first in the Ivies. The players' next meet will be against the University of Penn synvania and will also be held in Currier House.