The nascent Harvard women's squash juggernaut split forces this weekend, half the squad sustaining the team's early season roll over dual match opponents with a 7-0 romp over Bowdoin, and the other half, led by freshman Diana Staley, advancing the Crimson reputation in the women's squash establishment with creditable individual performances at the Princeton Squad Invitational.
While assistant coach Priscilla Pool accompanied number one Staley, (2) Mary Hulbert, (3) Laura Kaye amd (4) Jackie Corrigan south to Jersey, head coach Jack Barnaby bolstered what remained of his varsity with four top contenders on the j.v. and trooped up to Brunswick, Me., to face Bowdoin, a traditional, if not traditionally strong, women's squash rival.
Seven quick matches translated into seven quick wins as the Crimson, from number one Lisa Harrison to alternate Lisa Henrique, dispatched their opponents by a combined game total of 21-1. The win upped the Crimson's dual match record to 3-0.
"In the last two or three years we've really built up," Barnaby, the architect of Harvard's women's squash renaissance, said. "I'm really pleased with the j.v. When you can leave out your first four and win, you're not doing badly."
Credit for his charges' development rests squarely on the acumen of Barnaby, resident sage of Hemenway who was given the reins of the women's program three years ago after a 33-year stint handling the men.
Harvard's strong suit is depth--the four players invited to the tournament a Princeton, which theoretically draws "the top 16 collegiate players in the country," was a high for any school there--but before the squad left Barnaby expressed reservations on their individual prospects.
"Their performances are liable to be spotty because they're all so young. They have a lot of talent, but I wouldn't say it's finely honed."
To a large degree, the coach's fears materialized. Blessed with less than heavenly draws, Hulbert and Corrigan dropped out in the first round, Hulbert to number-three seed Zorlene Goodman and Corrigan to number-one seed Nina Porter of Trinity. Kaye, after winning her first match, unsuccessfully ran into number-two seed Karen Kelso.
At the Statue
Miraculously, it was Staley, arm in a sling (bursitis of the shoulder) until three days before the tournament, whose skills were at their sharpest. The freshman raced through Johns Hopkins' Linzie Gould and number-four seed Patrice McConnel of Princeton before succumbing to Porter in the semis, 15-7, 14-16, 15-6, 15-8.
Staley closed out the tournament by topping Princeton's Joanne Cherrie for third place honors, 18-17, 18-15, 15-12.
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