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The percentages finally caught up with the Harvard squash team last Saturday as Penn halted the Crimson's string of undefeated matches at 21 by pulling off a stunning 5-4 upset on the Penn courts.
Going into Saturday's match, Harvard had run off 24 consecutive victories against Penn, including a pair of 5-4 squeakers in their previous two encounters.
As expected, Anil Nayar and Larry Terrell, at one and two, won easily. Nayar alternated between blistering drives and soft drop shots, winning in three straight games. Terrell overpowered Eliot Berry of Penn with crisp, hard crosscourt drives, eventually winning in four games.
Fritz Hobbs was no less impressive as he gave the highly partisan crowd little to cheer about. He played long points, patiently retrieving Chris Keidel's screaming drives. Hobbs managed to establish control of the center of the court, and as Keidel tired his errors increased in frequency. Hobbs won in three straight.
Penn's superior strength in the lower positions was decisive as Harvard was able to salvage only one victory in the last six positions. Ed Atwood at number seven accounted for that one victory as he held on to win the third game, 18-17, and the match, 3-0.
Harvard had its best chance for victory at the number five. With all the matches completed, the outcome of the entire contest rested on the match between Fernando Gonzales of Harvard and de Mark Meladouchie of Penn. Gonzales established a two-one lead in games, playing steady and intelligent squash. In the fourth game, he fell behind badly and evidently decided to concentrate his energies in the fifth game. In that game, seemingly every point was close to 20 rallies. with Gonzales ahead, 9-7, Melodouchie twisted his wrist and play was delayed for five minutes. When action resumed, Gonzales had lost his edge and ended up losing 15-13.
At number six, John Ince built up a 2-1 lead in games over Jeffrey Condon of Penn. In the fourth game the lead alternated several times, eventually being tied up at 13 all. Although Ince had two match points, Condon held on to win. In the fifth game Condon gained momentum, using hard serves to secure the victory.
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