Last year, an injury-depleted Harvard men's squash team captured a 5-4 decision over Trinity College...and Trinity was on top of the world. It had almost upset the team which had been ranked number one for six consecutive seasons.
But last night, the Crimson brought Trinity back to earth with a 9-0 thrasing in front of 40 fans at Hemenway Gymnasium. The win extended the Crimson's winning streak to 70 games. Harvard hasn't lost since February 6, 1982.
It wasn't even funny. It was like Mike Tyson fighting Pee Wee Herman.
Eight of the nine matches were won in straight games.
"Everybody played well," Co-Captain Doug Lifford said. "We came in and treated it like it was going to be a tough match. We're going to take the rest of the matches the same way."
"Let's not beat around the bush," sophomore George Polsky said. "We were like a school of pirahnas--as tonight's match clearly showed. When we smell blood, it's lights out."
The Crimson started off strong with wins in the evened-numbered matches. Senior Doug Cohen started off the rout with a 15-3, 15-7, 15-8 blasting of Scott English, while teammate and number-six player Polsky burned Geoff Strawbridge, 15-9, 15-8, 15-7.
Playing second for Harvard, Jon Kaye wasted little time in destroying Bob Hopkins. After taking the first two games, 15-8, 15-13, Kaye cruised 15-4 in the third set to win the match.
Jon Masland, who played number 10 last year, had an easy match at number four. The sophomore has clearly taken his game up a notch since last year. Masland crushed John Rouston, 15-8, 15-11, 15-6, to give the Crimson a 4-0 lead in overall matches.
At number seven, Seth Handy clinced Harvard's 70th straight victory with a 15-2, 15-10, 15-8 triumph against Brian Haupthur.
After the first five matches, the rest of the players seemed to be racing each other to the shower. Junior Charles Dowling crushed Diego Roca, 15-3, 15-7, 15-8, while Co-Captain Frank Huerta didn't even have to go airborne to capture a 15-7, 15-12, 15-11 victory over Malcolm Miller.
Lifford, who played at number seven last year, used a mixture of corner shots and knicks in outplaying Chris Smith, 15-11, 15-13, 15-13. Lifford is just another one of the Crimson players who has taken his game up a notch since the end of last season.
In the last match of the day, freshman Farokh Pandole lost the first game, 11-15, but rallied to take the next two, 15-5, 15-10. But Trinity's David Confair pulled out a 19-17 win in the fourth game. After holding a 14-11 lead in the fifth game, Pandole saw his lead cut to one, 14-13 before scoring the next point to when the game and match.
"They were a little stronger last year," Huerta said. "We didn't underestimate this year. We didn't want a fiasco like last year. We're looking forward to MIT, Williams and Nationals."
"It was a good start for us," Masland said. "After our tournament at Yale, it's easy to have a let-down. But we went out there and took it right to them."
Missing the match for the Crimson were Jon Bernheimer, Jeremy Fraiberg, and Jim Masland.
THE NOTEBOOK: During Harvard's current streak, the Crimson has won 582 individual matches, while surrendering only 49...Harvard now holds a 14-0 series lead over Trinity...Harvard has also recorded 10 shutouts against Trinity.