With the dramatic segment of its schedule completed, and Pennsylvania sent back home unfulfilled for another year, Harvard's tennis team is now confronted with the more mundane task of playing out the remainder of the spring with little chance of moving either up or down in the EITA standings.
Today's mid-afternoon tryst with Amherst begins the more somnolence phase of the Crimson's schedule. The Lord Jeffs, who have won six of their ten matches thus far, normally take a highly emotional approach to the Harvard match. Since Amherst hasn't had a victory over the Crimson since they locked up Ebbets Field permanently, Harvard normally takes a more casual attitude towards the annual contest. Still, in the traditional spirit of collegiate competitive sport, the Crimson will pile into a few automobiles this morning, grab a couple of toll tickets at Weston, and make its way across the Massachusetts Turnpike to discharge its obligation.
The Amherst ladder is largely inexperienced. Four of the Jeffs' top six men did not play last spring. Mike Pelletier, one of the top players in New England for three years, has graduated.
So Tom Ryan will play at the No. 1 spot, and will lead a largely unstable lineup. It appears as though a repeat of last spring's 8-0 Harvard victory may well be in order unless Amherst plays far above its ability or the Crimson cases off to the point of paralysis after last weekend's successes.
Harvard's ladder will remain unchanged. Harris Masterson, who pulled the upset of the year in knocking off Penn's John Adams Saturday, will take on Ryan, and classmate Ken Lindner, who put together back-to-back exhibitions of superlative clutch tennis over the weekend, will clash with Amherst's Rick Weller at two.
From there, the pairings could be mismatches, since three remodeled squash players--Dave Sayward. Brian McDermott and Jeff Sawyer--plus football back Bob Blood hold down the three through six slots on the Amherst ladder. Unfortunately, the match will not count towards the EITA standings. But the travel expenses, at least, are minimal.