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The varsity squash team, which has routinely thrashed all its opponents thus far in rolling up a 6-0 record, faces its stiffest challenge of the season this weekend when it meets Navy on Friday and Penn on Saturday, both on the road.
The Crimson now has won 23 consecutive matches, a streak which started after a 6-3 loss to Navy two years ago. In fact, in five tries, Harvard has never downed the midshipmen on the Annapolis courts.
Coach Jack Barnaby's lineup is a bit stronger now due to the return of Fritz Hobbs, who turned in an impressive performance in defeating Williams, number three men a week ago. Hobbs, who never played squash before coming to Harvard, Was ineligible last term because he had taken the semester off to row for the heavy-weight crew in the Olympics.
The Crimson is almost assured of victories in the top two positions. Captain Anil Nayar, whom Barnaby considers "one of the half dozen best collegiate players of all time," has only lost one career match for Harvard, and has lost only two games in the last two years. He should win at the number one position.
Harvard's number two man, Larry Terrell, is probably the second best collegian in the country behind Nayar and is a likely winner this weekend. Harvard is thus almost guaranteed the first two matches, and must win three of the seven other contests to earn victory.
Aside from the problem of playing on foreign courts, the Crimson must contend with two different types of balls. At Navy, the seamless ball, which stays in the air longer, is used. Penn plays with the Craigir, which travels faster horizontally.
Barnaby, commenting on Harvard's lack of success at Annapolis, said, "We're going to try to break that jinx; we have a good team, and the boys are eager." Barnaby added. "The weekend will depend upon how well we adjust to the different courts, and the different balls we'll be using."
Harvard has never lost to Penn, while piling up 25 victories. But the Quakers have developed a powerful team in recent years, and the Crimson won by narrow 5-4 margins each of the last two years. Two of Penn's top performers are Spencer Burke and Elliot Berry.
Harvard's probable lineup, in addition to Nayar, Terrell, and Hobbs, includes Michel Schienmann, John Ince, Fernando Gonzalez, Pete Abrams, John Atwood, and Steve Whitman.
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