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Moments before the Harvard netmen boarded the bus for yesterday's trek to Providence, R.I. and Brown University, co-captain Bob Horne talked about what would be the squad's biggest problem that afternoon:
"If those guys would just hurry up and get out here," he said, "We'll be all right."
Well, Don Pompan, Greg Kirsch, and four freshman managed to get out of the Union and down to Providence in plenty of time to whip the Bruins 8-1, boosting the Crimson's league record to a perfect 6-0, with an overall mark of 14-4.
About the only barriers to the Crimson steamroller--if you don't count a loss in the second slot--were a couple of stop lights in downtown Providence; once the bus got to Brown, the Crimson dominated play all afternoon.
Number one singles player Don Pompan, with the MCAT's far behind him, started things off with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 trouncing of Scott Diehl. The Bruin's number one relied on a blistering serve to upset Pompan in the first set, but then watched his game sink into obscurity for the rest of the match.
The Crimson number two player, future Q-Worlder Howard Sands, fell to John Hare, 7-5, 6-4. After the match, Sands could offer no explanations for the one upset of the day except, "He just played better than me."
Greg Kirsch was a big bright spot for the Crimson, as he has been all year and particularly in the last four matches. Kirsch filled in for a resting Bob Horne to play number six singles in addition to third doubles, and his easy 6-1, 6-2 destruction of Bill Way marked the third time in two weeks that the has successfully filled in for an ailing Crimson regular. Last week against both Penn and Columbia he replaced Sands, who was out with an injured shoulder.
Following Saturday's 9-8 loss to Princeton, the Crimson laxmen dropped from seventh to tenth in the Division I natural poll.
Coach Dave Fish extolled Kirsch's play and attitude, emphasizing that the team's only senior hasn't let the fact that he has been playing only third doubles all year affect the way he practices. Thus, Kirsch has been able to step in and sustain the quality and intensity of his play, and record three singles victories.
The other three singles matches showed that the Crimson will be a potent force at this weekend's New England Championships, and more importantly, next Wednesday's all-important battle against the Tigers from New Jersey.
Warren Grossman whipped Harold Schaff, 6-2, 6-3, while Mike Terner busily dug a 6-2, 6-2, grave for the Bruin's number four, Phil Diaz. To round off the singles festivities, Adam Beren didn't take much time to mutilate Dirk Long, 6-2, 6-1.
In the three doubles matches, the Crimson duos looked uninspired as they won all three by narrow margins. Pompan and Sands nipped Hare and Schaft 7-6, 7-6, Grossman and Beren won a crucial third set to eke out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 over Diehl and Diaz. Kirsch and Terner then came from behind to defeat Way and Ned Handy, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
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