Duffy Back In Line-Up; Squash Team Tops Green
If this is the heart of the squash season and it is--if stands to reason that the Crimson men's squash team must be playing some of the season's most gut-wrenching squash but it isn't.
By climbing out of a cold bus minus Dave Boyum and slapping themselves into consciousness just enough to beat Dartmouth 8-1. Harvard demonstrated yet again that the slide through the part of the season after a loss to Princeton is about like going through two weeks of clear skin after having to pop a facial pimple on prom night.
But, a win is a win, clear skin is clear skin, and after some initial inertia the team claimed its third dual match victory in five days, the previous two 9-0 wins over Penn and Tufts.
Charlie Duffy returned from the disabled list showing few effects from a sprained right ankle. The senior topped Dartmouth sophomore Sam Stevens by a square 15-7, 15-7, 15-7, Mitch Reese, sharper than he's looked for a couple of weeks, took care of his one ninth, 15-12, 15-13, 15-10, while Peter Dinneen, playing in his third consecutive, though not necessarily best, varsity match, gutted out a 17-15, 15-11, 17-16 squeaker.
But almost to a man, the rest of the team struggled for a period of time before finding its court legs and/or brains. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the squad apparently tried to stimulate the conditions they're likely to run into next weekend at Yale (in a slightly more significant match) Alien courts and a non-partisan crowd were already there. So, was the two-and-a-half-hour bus ride. What the Crimson added as its special contribution was anticipation of Greyhound lethargy.
Chip Robie, John Dinneen and Spencer Brog gave their first games as alms before rallying to 3-1 wins Lemmon typicaly embroiled himself in another tough one, dropping his first two games before rallying to take the last three against Tony Hitt, 15-6, 15-5, 15-8. And Jim Lubowitz regretfully let too much rope slip away to lose, 15-6, 15-9, 17-14. Matt Hoffman, Lubowitz's opponent, played number four for the Big Green last year before dropping to seven this year.
The weekend's season finale against Yale takes on added significance for a number of reasons: all season the Elis have squawked about lack of respect, objecting to the squash world's focus on Princeton and Harvard: Harvard owns a 20-year winning streak over Yale, and last year a hopeful Eli squad checked into Cambridge, only to return decimated, 8-1.
Harvard will be at full strength Saturday, with both Duffy and Boyum in the line-up for the first time in four matches.