"We're not expecting much trouble from Dartmouth," Harvard tennis captain John Levin had said Monday night, "but we're going to play as though we were."
Levin and his teammates made good on their promise yesterday, relying on their powerful singles ladder to clinch the match early, then letting their reserves clean up in the doubles, as the Crimson rolled over a better-than-average Indian squad, 7-2, at Soldiers' Field.
Junior Larry Terrell lost badly at number four, 6-2, 6-2, and Levin was forced into three sets before he defeated Jeff Dyer at number one, but Harvard swept through the remainder of the singles matches with incredible ease.
Senior Rocky Jarvis, the Crimson's poised, steady number two man, quickly put away Green captain Dave Burwell in straight sets, outmaneuvering him easily with an impeccable backcourt game.
Senior Terry Oxford clobbered Tim Greist, 6-0, 6-2 at number three, and when sophomore Bill Washauer whipped Ed Cranch in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, at number five. Crimson coach Jack Barnaby decided to experiment.
The experiment turned out superbly. Junior Clarke Kawakami, one of Harvard's top reserves, filled in for injured Chris Nielsen at number six, and dumped George Jacoby, 6-, 6-4, clinching the match.
Barnaby then entered Kawakami and Washauer at first doubles, giving the appearance that he was going was on the already beaten Dartmouth squad. The Indians had entered Jock McKernan, who had defeated Terrell earlier in the after noon, and Dyer, their top double unit. From past record, there appeared to be no comparison.
As it happened, there was none. Washauer, undefeated in singles competition since the Southern trip, and the most underrated competitor on the team, combined extremely well with Kawakami, a reserve of first-string caliber, winning easily 12-5.
Sophomores Fred Barton and Bruce Price downed Greist and Barry Brink at third doubles, 12-8, and sophomores Rick Rosenthal and Bill Brock played gritty tennis at number two before dropping a 12-9 decision to Burwell and Justin Stanley, the Green's regular second doubles unit.
"The entire squad played very, very well," enthused Barnaby last night. "They were overtennised after the New England last weekend, so we pretty much let them rest Monday and Tuesday. As a result, I was terribly afraid that the squad would be sluggish for the Dartmouth match."
With the EITA title virtually clinched, Harvard's sluggishness could well be relaxation.