There is no truth to the rumor that Radcliffe Intercollegiate Athletics have died, they've just been on a long vacation. Since mid-December, the women have abstained from competition and devoted their energies to other pursuits, like practice.
Scheduling provided the 'Cliffes with a lull through the Christmas vacation, season, but the women are defrosting and will return to action beginning tomorrow night when Carole Kleinfelder brings her hot-shot cagers to MIT. The 4-1 Radcliffe basketball team will be looking to continue their winning ways, but injuries may dull the start of the 1977-half of their season.
Starting center Sue Hewitt will play spectator tomorrow night, while teammates Ellen Hart and Caryn Curry will play, but both with injured ankles. To bolster the dwindling ranks, freshman Beth Craig will assume the center position, and Wendy Carl and Sue Williams will stand by to aid the weak-ankled duo.
With the exception of one off evening against Bentley College, the 'Cliffe hoopsters have been impressive, displaying a crisp, passing offense that has been spirited and fluid. Their defense, usually acceptable, has had one problem throughout the season: an unfortunate abundance of foul troubles.
The loss of offensive-dynamo Curry in the Bentley game crippled the Crimson attack, and this shortcoming may return to plague the cagers tomorrow night with Curry not playing at 100 per cent health.
However, the team is in good shape, having just finished a weekend of double-session practices. They'll need the fine tuning though as they have a long weekend ahead; Saturday they travel to Worcester for a weekend tourney, and in the first round, they'll meet the women from Penn.
Kleinfelder considers the Penn game an important one, because if Radcliffe can get by Penn, they'll probably face Brown in the semis, and they've already disposed of Brown once this season.
While the Kleinfelder gang is dribbling through Worcester, Stephanie Walsh, Paula Newman and their ice-cream-eating-ulcer-makers (a.k.a. the Harvard Women's swim team, a.k.a. the Radcliffe Swimmers) will square-off against Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at the IAB.
Walsh and her 4-1 swimmers have succeeded in shattering nerves at poolside by just pulling out wins in their last two meets with victories in the final events. The superb performances turned in by the women' in the meet against Tufts cost assistant coach Newman a near-fortune to pay for ice cream which she promised all swimmers who swam better times against Tufts than they did against Brown.
Stars Maura Costin and Jane Fayer, both undefeated in individual events this season and key participants in the largely victorious relays, will lead the women back to the water.
Fayer may have difficulty this weekend though, as she will be unable to practice for the rest of this week because of an injury she received while swimming. (Rumor reports that she cut herself on the curb while swimming through the rapids on flooded Shepard Street.) But she is expected to swim on Saturday.
The swimmers have practiced hard throughout the vacation, swimming independently during their time away from school. Walsh said yesterday the women are all in good shape and she expects a strong performance this weekend.
Returning to the injury list, diver Mollye Munch will remain out of action due to an appendectomy she underwent during the Christmas break. Sue Abkowitz, diving with only a month's experience, will continue to fill the hole left by the shortage of female divers.
So the successful cagers and swimmers will bring Radcliffe sports back to the competitive ranks this week. Radcliffe squash and fencing will remain on vacation until February. You can be sure that the women will provide plenty of excitement for the rest of the winter season. Fine talent and superb coaching have combined this year to bring about a revolution in women's athletics at Harvard.
Success is becoming a believable goal in the Radcliffe Athletic Office. Hard work and a winning attitude have helped the women move toward victory; they should continue their winning trend throughout the winter.