Harvard's varsity fencers have never lost to Holy Cross, and tomorrow's season opener in Worcester should continue the record.
The Crusaders, "the most improved team in New England" last year, according to Crimson Coach Edo Marion, placed third in the New England intercollegiates. But Harvard beat them twice using several second-stringers, and most of the Crimson first team is returning.
For the third straight year, Harvard has a solid outfit. But anyone who has watched Crimson fencing the past two years will refrain from wild optimism. Harvard will begin, as usual, by clobbering a string of third-rate teams, but Columbia and N.Y.U. will continue to be invincible. And Harvard may continue to drop sloppy 14-13 decisions to Cornell and Princeton, as it did last year.
Coach Marion has premonitions of disaster. "They just aren't practicing enough," he said.
Senior Tom Musliner, after a dismal season last year, may be ready to repeat the sophomore performance which placed him second in Ivy League foil standings. A fast and precise fencer, Musliner won the New England intercollegiates last year but did poorly in Ivy competition because of "the psychological disadvantage of a spectacular sophomore year," Marion said. This fall, Musliner placed second in the New England Amateur Open, where two U.S. Olympians competed.
The other two foil men are senior Takashi Iwasawa and junior Chuck Lovell, both elevated from last year's second string.
A second team all-Ivy swordsman, junior Steve Shea is a consistent fencer with several years of pre-Harvard epee competition in New York. Shea has taken the first spot from junior Harry Jergesen, an all-Ivy first team selection who "isn't practicing this year," according to Coach Marion.
Second man in epee is senior Brian Keidan, a two-year letterman. Although he is slow, Keidan is finally "using his brains," Marion said.
Captain Bob Damus, who nearly made the final round of the Eastern last year, is a standout on the weakest Crimson sabre team in years. Dave Redmond a two-year letterman, is second man. Although sophomore Bob Barnard will probably fence today, another sophomore--Ron Winfield--may take his place soon as third sabre.