Having defeated two mediocre opponents with case, the Crimson fencing team faces what may be its first real test of the young season when it takes on City College of New York (CCNY) this afternoon at the IAB.
Harvard never quite knows what CCNY has to offer, as Beaver teams vary greatly in quality from year to year. "You never know what to expect from them." Crimson coach Edo Marion said yesterday. "Sometimes they're up, sometimes they're down. We'll just have to see."
Last year in a match in the City, CCNY surprised the Crimson, 16-11, behind a 9-0 whitewashing of Harvard in foil. The year before, showing the changeability of the Beaver fencing fates, Harvard had triumphed easily, 22-5.
This year CCNY has had only one match, which they won, topping Yale, 14-13, Yale is usually not much of a fencing power, although the Elis did knock Harvard out of sole possession of second place in the last match of last season.
From the results of the Yale contest, CCNY appears to be strongest in epee. The Beaver epee squad took eight out of nine bouts from Yale. The CCNY trio of Lee, Karussos, and Warren, will provide a stiff challenge for Harvard's epee squad.
In foil and sabre, CCNY does not appear to have much going for it, unless, of course, Yale is a super power this year, which isn't likely. Against the Bulldogs CCNY managed to win but three out of nine bouts in each of the two weapons.
For Harvard, the CCNY match will give a good indication of how much credibility there is to the Crimson's position as a would-be contender for the Ivy League Crown.
The CCNY meet will be a real thermometer for us," Marion said. "We will take the temperature of our team with it and find out how good we are."
Marion is expected to meet the CCNY epee strength with the same us. The succeeded in the first two matches. At number one, will be freshman Chris Jennings. Jennings has yet to lose for Harvard, sweeping four bouts in the first two matches. Against MIT on Tuesday, Jennings took three straight, but he did not look particularly sharp as he fenced sloppily and allowed a totally outclassed MIT fencer to take him, pressing him closely before Jennings triumphed, 5-4.
Eugene White and John Hirschfeld, each of whom took two out of three bouts against MIT, will fence at the other two epee positions.
In sabre Harvard should have little trouble. The trio of Terry Valenzuela, Gordon Rutledge, and Walt Morris, looks like more than the Beavers can handle.
"The sabre team pays the rent for this team," Venezuela said yesterday. "I don't see any way CCNY is going to stop the payments."
Foil man Howie Weiss, Dave Fichter and Phillipe Bennett, look like they could be challenged a little today, but there is not any real threat that they will be overcome by the Beavers.