Junior Lou Williams, playing the best squash of his life, became the first varsity racquetman since 1960 to beat one of Yale's top three men, as the Crimson completed an undefeated season with a 6-3 win over the Elis yesterday.
The varsity thus added the Ivy title to the national championship which it won in Detroit this past weekend. Over the season, the Crimson lost only seven individual matches and extended its string of victories to 20 since the 1961 5-4 loss to Yale. With nine returning lettermen, Harvard should up the streak to 30 next year.
Williams upset the Elis' George West in four games, 18-17, 7-15, 15-12, 15-5; last year West had easily beaten him. But in the other top matches Yale demonstrated its usual mastery, as Vic Niederhoffer, Bill Morris, and senior Paul Sullivan all lost.
At number one, Niederhoffer faced Ralph Howe, intercollegiate champion in 1962, and like him, a semi-finalist in the national singles competition. Niederhoffer took a quick 7-1 lead in the first game, mixing beautiful drop shots with long smashes, but Howe won the next six points to tie the game. Niederhoffer then pulled ahead, and although Howe tied it again at 10 all, took the game decisively 15-10.
The Harvard junior also dominated play in the second game, taking leads of 7-4, 10-4, 12-8, and 14-12. At this point, Howe began to ask for lets frequently, refusing to play the ball, and to block Niederhoffer, forcing lets before he could return Howe's shots. The strategy worked well; Niederhoffer threw away his lead, and at 14 all called three points and lost them all.
In the third game Howe went ahead from the first point and won 15-6; in the fourth game Niederhoffer held the lead throughout and won 15-8. The capacity crowd at Hemenway, which included the number one and two players in the country--Ben Heckscher '57 and Charlie Ufford '53--got set for the fifth and decisive game.
The score seaweeded back and forth four times in the early minutes. Niederhoffer took an 8-7 lead after a long rally, and the crowd sensed a Harvard victory; but the junior fell behind two points later. Combining forced lets with perfectly placed shots, Howe kept his lead to win the match, 15-12.
As expected, the Crimson swept the next five matches, with Doug Walter, captain Roger Wiegand, Terry Robinson, John Thorndike, and Allen Terrell all remaining undefeated. Walter outplayed Yalie Peter Appleton 15-10, 15-10, 9-15, 15-5; Wiegand, also a senior, defeated Cliff Clark 16-13, 15-11, 12-15, 15-8.
At number seven, Robinson won three games by identical 15-8 scores over Fred Smith. Thorndike, who has won about 60 matches in a row, beat Yale sophomore Edward Cox 15-5, 15-13, 14-18, 15-4. And at number nine, Terrell edged Bill Greenwood 15-14, 15-11, 15-12.
Next year all but two Yalies will have graduated. The Harvard team, which loses only three men, will gain extra depth from the freshman squad, which zipped past the Elis 8-1 yesterday.