The Harvard men's squash team opened the new year with a bang.
The Crimson racquetmen engaged in their own version of guerilla warfare as they defeated Army in a 9-0 shellacking. The matched resembled nine hydrogen bombs lined up against nine water pistols.
After the smoke had cleared Crimson's winning streak increased to 62 straight and its record to 4-0 on the season.
"Everybody played well," junior Paul Gardi said. "We weren't playing a strong team, so the guys were trying to get their matches over as soon as possible. We didn't want to fiddle around."
Even though Harvard sat out five of its starters, eight of the nine individual matches were shutouts. Harvard's number one and two players, Darius Pandole and Co-Captain Russ Ball were playing in a tournament. Also missing the match were Co-Captain Jack Polsky, George Polsky and James Gilfillan.
Charles Dowling, who moved up from the JV team for the match, whipped Jorn Ortega in straight games, which set the tone for the day. Dowling's victory was followed by Jon Masland's 15-6, 15-8, 15-3 triumph.
Jim Masland, Jon's older brother, wasted little time in destroying Army's Scott Clarke, capturing the match by the scores of 15-7, 15-5, 15-6.
Playing at number one, Jack Colbourne clobbered Army's Dan Corsen, 18-14, 15-6, 15-7, to clinch Harvard's 62nd straight victory and fourth of the season.
Jon Bernheimer, who played at number four last year, saw his first action of the season against Joe Purdee. The sophomore broke his wrist in September, then suffered a sprained ankle during the squad's trip to England. But Bernheimer was back in prime form, capturing a 15-3, 15-8, 15-4 victory over Purdee.
"It felt great," Bernheimer said. "It was great being with the team again."
With Bernheimer back and healthy, the Crimson should make a strong bid for this weekend's National five-
As for Army and Navy (an 8-1 loser to the Crimson in December), the country is still secure because squash racquets are still prohibited on the front.
After Frank Huerta captured the first game 15-7, Army's Kevin Lempke fought back to win the second. However, Huerta dominated the next two games to give the Crimson its first shutout of the season.
With Bernheimer back and healthy, the Crimson should make a strong bid for this weekend's National fiveman championship in Atlanta. Harvard last won the tournament in 1985.
Seth Handy and Doug Cohen followed up Bernheimer's victory with two more straight-game triumphs, 15-6, 15-4, 15-10 and 15-6, 15-11, 15-6, respectively.
After a shaky 5-4 decision over Trinity, the Crimson has outscored its last three opponents by a 25-2 margin in individual matches. Harvard's next opponent is an improved Williams squad this Wednesday.
THE NOTEBOOK:During the Crimson's 62-game winning streak, the squad has won 521 individual matches, while surrendering only 38...Harvard has also recorded 40 shutouts during the streak...Harvard now leads the Crimson-Cadets series, 40-1...The only time the Crimson lost to Army (in 1948), Harry S. Truman was President of the United States.