The bandwagon is rolling. Harvard's tennis team smashed Penn, 9-0, at Palmer Dixon Sturday, raising its league record to 3-0 heading into today's home match against Yale.
The victory was not quite as easy as it sounds--the Crimson pulled out four tiebreakers in the singles competition--but it was not all that tough, either.
The only real challenge of the day came at number one singles, where Captain Dan Waldman nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before polishing off Quaker Rick Meyer, 5-4, in a third-set tiebreaker. Meyer, one of the best players in the East, epitomized the frustrating decline of Penn's once mighty tennis squad--the loss was his third in a final-set tiebreaker this year.
The Crimson found the competition a little easier in other matches. Two-player Todd Lundy--who has earned a reputation as a "Donut Machine" for his steady, decisive victories--put away Penn's talented Mark Fife in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3.
Three-man Scott Walker--whose play has been as hot as his flaming red hair--then disposed of Quaker Paul Moss, 6-2, 6-4. Walker has yet to lose a singles or doubles match in league competition.
Number four Dan Gerken also had an unbeaten string (2-0 in singles) riding into the match, and he did not let Walker upstage him. The freshman handled Dan Moses in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, gutting out a 5-4 win in the tiebreaker to take the match.
When five-man Kevin Shaw smashed Ray Stein, 6-3, 6-2, and Al Bunis handled Eben Hardie at number six, 6-4, 7-6, the Crimson had opened a 6-0 lead heading into the doubles competition.
As in the singles, there were few surprises here. Gerken and Cliff Adler downed Moss and Hardie in three sets, and Shaw-Walker remained undefeated with a straight-set triumph at number two.
The only eventful match in the double competition came at number one, where Andy Chaikovsky teamed with Lundy to smash Meyer and Fife, 10-5, in a pro set.
The Crimson has no time to gloat over the Penn whitewash, though, for powerhouse Yale heads into town at 3 p.m. today. Although the Elis have lost to Columbia and Princeton so far, they are still one of the strongest teams in the East.
But Harvard should have no trouble getting psyched for the match. The racquetmen have gained momentum from the Columbia and Penn victories, and a victory against Yale would mean a shot at the league title and a possible NCAA berth. And as Lundy put it, "Just the idea of losing to Yale is kind of nauseating."