The Harvard men's squash team destroyed MIT, 9-0, yesterday in what could only be classified as a warm-up match. Although it was scheduled and counts as an official varsity contest, the Crimson did not bother to use its top seven players.
The match was a good prelude to the squad's sixtieth season--a campaign that could be one of the Crimson's best ever.
Last year, the squad went 10-0 in intercollegiate competition, won 82 of the 90 matches played, captured the national six-man and nine-man championships, and finished second in the five-man tourney.
This year they hope to better that.
You may think that improving on two national titles may be hard to do, but if any squad has the talent to do it, the Crimson could be the one.
Harvard graduated only three letterwinners and boasts 13 returnees, including All-Ivy and All-America selections David Boyum, Richard Jackson, and Kenton Jernigan, Jernigan, a junior, is the reigning National Intercollegiate Individual Champion and National Amateur Champion.
Also returning are sophomore Joe Dowling and senior Co-Captain Peter Dineen who add important depth to the high-powered Crimson line-up.
With the addition of freshmen Rusty Ball and Durius Pandole, the racquetmen have the making of a veritable powerhouse. Ball is looking particularly strong in practice and could challenge some of the more experienced players for a high spot on the ladder.
"He's been playing very well lately. He could end up in the top four somewhere," says Co-Captain David Boyum.
Pandole, the Indian National Junior Champion, is playing for the first time ever with a hard ball. Although the adjustment is a learning process, Pandole seems to be making the transition well.
With all of this talent, the Crimson's biggest problem could be overconfidence.
"Everyone on the team knows that we shouldn't lose a match but it's important that we not become overconfident and lazy. We have to keep working hard all the time," Boyum says.