All signs point to another winning season for Coach Jack Barnaby's tennis team this year. With nine lettermen returning and a host of good players up from an unbeaten freshman team, the Crimson should challenge defending champion Princeton in the Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis League.
But Harvard must solve a number of problems first. A major question mark is the play of sophomore Chauncey Steele, who missed the team's recent Southern trip due to a case of German measles. Steele has recovered and will be playing in the number five position in the team's home opener against M.I.T. this afternoon, but the sophomore may miss the match experience the trip south provided for his teammates.
A second major concern involves the doubles lineup. Coach Jack Barnaby is breaking up the combination of Paul Sullivan and Frank Ripley, his number one team last year. Sullivan, captain and number one player, will pair with Steele to fill the number one doubles slot in this afternoon's match.
This combination, which has never played a match together in varsity competition, will be challenged for the top spot by the tandem of Ripley and Vic Niederhoffer, the second and third singles players. Three teams, are competing for the number three doubles spot.
But the Crimson's main problem is the strength of its competition. Princeton shut out Barnaby's team 9-0 last year and although the Tigers will miss number one man Drayton Nabers, they must be the favorite in the EITL once again. Yale, with almost its entire team returning, will also be tough; the Elis whipped Harvard last year 8-1. Penn also looks strong.
But in today's match with M.I.T. Harvard should have it easy. The Crimson will play Sullivan, Ripley, Niederhoffer, and Doug Walter in the top four positions, with sophomores Steele and Dean Peckham filling out the top six.
Last year's match was a 9-0 breeze for Harvard, and this year's will probably be just as easy a win. The top four players all shut out their M.I.T. opponents last year, and the Crimson players are fresh from their Southern tour, a success although the teams won just 3 of 11 matches.
Barnaby split his squad into two teams of equal strength--Sullivan, Peckham, Bob Inman, Sandy Walker, John Vinton, Mike Tarre, and Alan Terrell made up "Team I" while Ripley, Niederhoffer, Walter, Terry Robinson, Jim Gustafson, and Mike Belknap were "Team IL."