The players on the Harvard men's tennis learn had Georgia on their minds yesterday, but they thought about the Palmer Dixon Courts just enough to whip Dartmouth 8-1 in their final match before the national championships next week.
The Crimson will be heading down to Athens, Ga., tomorrow to prepare for its opening match in the NCAAs against top ranked UCLA. but the netmen didn't let that stop them from plying their usual efficient, if unspectacular, brand of tennis.
Harvard wrapped up its second consecutive Ivy League championship, finishing undefeated in the Ivies, untouched in the FITA and 16-7 overall.
All six singles players dispatched their opponents briskly Number one player Harvard Sands had some trouble against the Big Green's highly touted Bob Stein, but he held on to beat him, 7-5, 7-5.
"I want to win every time I'm on the court," said Sands. "But in a match like this, it's more of a negative thing--I didn't want to lose to Rob Stein."
In rapid succession number two Adam Beren, number three Warren Grossman, number four Alex Seaver and number five freshman Dave Rockman cut down their opponents in straight sets, winning a total of 48 games to the Big Green's 18.
The only blemish to an otherwise perfect afternoon came in the final doubles match when Beckman and Rob Wheeler felt in a lackadaisacal endeavor 6-2, 2-6,1-6. As to be expected Harvard undefeated doubles team of sands and Beren blew away Dartmouth's Stein and Glen French 6-1,6-2.
We played average today, " said Assistant Coach Don Usher adding But the kids have been under a lot of pressure.
Beren agreed, saying "We have to get our term papers in today because we won't be back until exam period."
But while the pressure to get those term papers in now may not have hurt the Crimson yesterday, the evil spectre of upcoming exams may damage the team's chances in the national championships, starting Saturday.
Disconcertingly enough. Harvard's first opponents the UCLA Bruins, are in the middle of their spring quarter, so they don't have to worry about exams.
Earlier this season, the netmen dropped a rain shortened match 5 1 to the Bruins the doubles matches were rained out in Southern California. But three of those six losses were in three sets and according to some observers things could have easily ended at three apiece.
With some spirited play in the singles and a strong showing in the doubles the Crimson's strong suit--a Davy Crockett-like slaying of the Bruins is a possibility..
"We all need a lot of time to practice. "said Beren after yesterday's match adding "We're all going to spend a lot of time studying as well.
Besides the team tournament number one Sands will be competing in the national singles tournament, which will be held right after the team tourney. In addition he and Beren undefeated in doubles action this season will make a run at the the double title.
"I will always get psyched to play the good players, sands who last year was named All-American for his performance in the singles tourney, said.