After back-to-back losses to Ivy League powerhouses Princeton and Pennsylvania, the Harvard men's squash team got back into the win column last night with a convincing, if predictable 8-1 routing of MIT at Dupont gymnasium.
Admittedly, the MIT squash is not one of those titans of the game who keeps Crimson racquetmen from sleeping at night. But as the saying goes a win is a win and Harvard won this one handily despite the absence of the injured Mike Desaulniers, Mitch Reese and George Bell.
"Even though it was an easy match, its nice to have a win like this," Harvard number six man John Heller said following the match. "You can try shots you wouldn't normally try and work on your consistency," he added.
The only man in a Crimson jersey who didn't walk off the court a winner last night was captain John Havens. Havens fell to MIT number one man Kevin Burns, who combined skilled shot-making with excellent anticipation to oust the All-League Havens in four games.
Burns jumped out to a 1-0 lead with some amazing rip corners and three-wall nicks that fell just beyond Havens' racquet. "Burnsy is a very good player, but I've never seen him hit it like that before," Heller said. "He was out of his mind."
After Havens evened it at one apiece, Burns broke a ties in the crucial third game with a shot to the cranium of the less-than-hirsute Havens (his friends call him 'Yul', leaving the stunned Crimson captain to exlaim "Hey, I don't have any padding!" Burns went on to clinch the win in the fourth stanza, 15-11.
The rest of the Crimson ladder made light work of the MIT line-up, sweeping the remainder of the matches without losing a single game. At number two, John Stubbs breezed past Yusaf Maniya without breaking a sweat, while three man Chuck Elliott spanked MIT's Barry Nalebuff, 3-0.
With three men sidelined, Coach Dave Fish brought up J.V. regulars Bob Blake and Tony Downer to fill the squad's lower ranks. Blake swept Mike Busby off the court in three oh-so-quick games, while Downer annihilated MIT ten man Rich Wolf.
The racquetmen will face considerably better competition a week from Wednesday when they host Dartmouth at 3:00.
Harvard 8 MIT 1
1. Burns (MIT) def. Havens 15-13, 16-18, 15-12, 15-11
2. Stubbs (H) def. Maniya 15-9, 15-12, 18-17
3. Elliott (H) def. Nalebuff 15-6, 15-10, 15-10
4. Secrest (H) def. Julian 15-8, 15-11, 18-16
5. Fishwick (H) def. Walsh 15-11, 15-9, 15-6
6. Heller (H) def. Wilson 15-10, 18-14, 15-9
7. Somers (H) def. Michael 18-15, 15-6, 18-16
8. Robie (H) def. Kien Ong 15-12, 15-12, 18-14
9. Blake (H) def. Busby 15-10, 15-6, 15-8
10. Downer (H) def. Wolf 15-9, 15-3, 15-11