For the first time in the four years since Dave Fish inherited the coaching reins from the legendary Jack Barnaby, the men's squash team won the national and Ivy nine-man championships this winter.
And the Crimson raquetmen accomplished the feat in gut-wrenching fashion, first eking out a narrow upset over Princeton, then swinging past favored Penn and archrival Yale to capture the crown.
The victory over defending title-holder Princeton provided a new chapter for Great Harvard Sports Stories. The match literally boiled down to the final point, as fifth-spotted sophomore Chip Robie--rebounding from a three-day illness--edged Tiger Jason Fish in the decisive fifth game by a narrow 15-13 margin. Seniors John Stubbs at number three and Bob Blake at number eight also collected five-game triumphs.
Crimson captain Mike Desaulniers etched his name into the annals of collegiate athletics with another string of successes. Besides finishing his career without losing a single match, Desaulniers did not drop a single game this season. And to ice his immense cake, he copped the USSRA individual laurels and defeated the legendary Sharif Kahn in the spring.
The squad will lose Desaulniers, Stubbs, Blake, second-slotted George Bell and seventh-ranked Clark Bain to graduation. All five seniors posted solid wins in the Crimson's most crucial match, the Hemenway Gym showdown with Penn the weekend after the upending of Princeton.
One footnote: This season marked the return of Barnaby. He coached the women's squad, captained by Jenny Stone, to a second-place finish in the Howe Cup behind Princeton.