Plop-plop, fizz-fizz. The Harvard men's tennis team breathed a sigh of relief at Palmer Dixon yesterday after handing Navy a convincing 6-3 defeat in a win that was badly needed to get the Crimson on track in the Eastern League following a mediocre 2-3 spring trip.
The Midshipmen found themselves floundering from the outset, as the Crimson submarined them with five quick singles victories to cinch the outcome.
Senior captain Todd "The Doctor" Lundy led the Crimson by taking the knife to Navy one-player Buddy Robinson, 6-2, 6-2.
"Our man didn't play well," Navy coach Bobby Bayliss said after the match, "but Todd was really in the zone."
Andy Chaikovsky also impressed the home squad, playing his best match in memory to defeat bull-like Craig Morrison in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4. Chaikovsky found himself receiving serve at three-all in the first-set tiebreaker, but he coolly gutted out two straight points to take the set.
Scott Walker and Kevin Shaw also nabbed one-sided singles victories for the Crimson, and freshman Bobby Horne reeled off six consecutive games in one stretch to win his home debut in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
The Crimson let up after securing the victory in the opening matches, dropping the sixth singles and the first doubles in three sets and the third doubles in two.
Only Walker and Shaw managed to look sharp in doubles, as they stung Morrison and Mark Strasser with a couple of 6-4 sets.
"The guys played very well out there," coach Dave Fish said after the match, "but I'm going to avoid optimism because every time I see them in here (Palmer Dixon) they look very much better than they do against teams outdoors."
Harvard's indoor home courts feature a fast latexed asphalt surface that favors the Crimson's style of play.
The victory did not bode well for Harvard's chances of grabbing the Eastern League title this season. The mediocre doubles performance left a question mark, but more important, freshman number-two man Don Pompan did not play yesterday and will remain out indefinitely with a sprained ankle.
Princeton and Yale loom as the key opponents this year. The Elis shocked Columbia at home yesterday, 8-1, to tie Princeton, Harvard and Penn (all 1-0) in first place.
Despite these omens, yesterday's win represented the all-crucial, ice-breaking first league win, and it was a relief. Pretty fair tennis, too.
HARVARD 6, NAVY 3
6 singles--Bob Horne (H) def. Curt Dashiell, 6-3, 7-5