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Rain came to Hartford, Connecticut this weekend to slow action in the New England Intercollegiate Tennis Championships down to a walk, leaving the singles championship in the semi-final stages. Harvard's top-seeded team of Dale Junta and Larry Sears swept to victory in the doubles, however, to give the Crimson a good chance of retaining its team title.
The varsity players, Junta, Sears, Steve Gottlieb and Phil Mills did surprisingly well in the doubles division, as the pickup team of Gottlieb and Mills reached the semi-final round before being eliminated by Dave and Don Hicks of Amherst, 7-5, 6-2. The Hicks brothers were seeded second; Gottlieb and Mills were unseeded.
In the other semi-final round, Junta and Sears disposed of Jon Clark and Tom Freiburg of Yale, 6-4, 6-1. The final round match between Hicks-Hicks and Junta-Sears was unusual in that the Trinity College groundskeepers were able, in a half-hour, to set up an indoor court which met with the approval of both doubles teams.
With the courts set up, Junta and Sears survived a shaky middle two sets to defeat Hicks and Hicks, 6-2, 3-6, 8-6, 6-4. Junta had won the title last year, teamed with Brooks Harris.
Singles Semis Postponed
The singles players, however, preferred to play their matches at a later date. Therefore, defending champion Junta will play Freiburg, seeded fourth, here on May 31, and second seeded Carl Hirschman of Williams will oppose Amherst's fourth seeded Tom Richardson in the Amherst-Williams match this Tuesday. The two winners will play the final round at a date which will be determined after the Junta-Freiburg match is completed.
In the singles competition, the Crimson players ran into bad luck, as all except Junta were eliminated by the quarterfinal round. Gottlieb, seeded sixth, drew a first round bye, defeated Yale's Sam Schoonmaker in the second round, but ran into trouble in the third, losing to Don Hicks, whom he had beaten 6-0, 6-0 in the Harvard-Amherst match, 6-4, 6-4.
Sears, after winning a pair of easy matches in the first two rounds, had to default in the third to Williams' Dave Leonard. Mills won his first round encounter in the second.
Junta had no difficulty sweeping to the semi-finals without the loss of a set. In the semis, he defeated fifth seeded Pete Bostwick of Middlebury, 8-6, 6-3.
Saturday, the Yardling tennis team bowed to Yale, 7-2. Harvard's two wins came at second and third doubles where the teams of Denny Briggs and Dick Chute, and Mike Humphries and Pete Rient won from their Eli counterparts.
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