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Invigorated by its sweep of the New England championships last weekend, Harvard's tennis team will face the first of its final two obstacles to a share of the E.I.T.A. title when it plays a fair Dartmouth squad this afternoon at Soldiers' Field.
The Crimson has not lost a match in over a month, and it is unlikely that the Indians, whose strong point is depth rather than quality, can seriously challenge Harvard's seven-match winning streak.
Dartmouth has only four lettermen returning from last year's squad which tied for sixth in the E.I.T.A. and lost 8-1 to the Crimson. While the Indians have won 10 of 15 matches this spring their performances against teams Harvard has soundly whipped casts them decisively as underdogs.
The Green has recorded 5-4 victories over both Yale and Cornell and whitewashed Brown 9-0, but lost to Navy and Princeton, both of whom the Crimson has already defeated. An additional loss to Penn dropped the Indians to sixth once again, and they have little hope of rising higher.
Dartmouth coach John Kenfield hasn't really had a stable singles ladder all spring so individual matchups are in question. But three veterans, senior Tim Greist and juniors Geoff Dyer and Jock McKernan, are almost positive bets to take up the first three spots in singles with senior captain Dave Burwell, senior Jon Mueller and junior Ed Cranch playing in the 4, 5, and 6 slots. Dyer and McKernan form the top doubles unit, with Burwell and sophomore Justin Stanley at number two. The third tandem changes from week to week.
The Harvard lineup should remain the same, and seniors John Levin, Rocky Jarvis and Terry Oxford, after their brilliant performances last weekend in the New Englands, should have minimal trouble. Junior Larry Terrell and sophomores Chris Nielsen and Bill Washauer will retain their positions at 4, 5, and 6, but if the Crimson has clinched the match after singles competition, coach Jack Barnaby could plug reserves into the doubles matches.
An unexpected loss either today or next Saturday, to weak Yale, would knock the Crimson out of the league title race.
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