After their devastating defeat of Syracuse, Harvard Women's Tennis Coach Don Usher explained to his team the particulars of today's match against Cornell--what time to be there, how many exhibition matches are to be played and so on.
Finally, he turned to collect his stats books, and the team turned to walk back across the river. Then, he yelled over to the group of them, "Nice job, girls."
It wasn't a lot, but it sized up his squad's performance meets.
Harvard's 9-0 thrashing of the Orangewomen yesterday at Beren Country firmly established the Crimson as the finest squad in Eastern women's tennis.
Syracuse Coach Jesse Dwyer put it concisely.
"Harvard is simply the best team on the East Coast," Dwyer said.
The Crimson squad was lawless, losing a total of two set in all nine matches.
"Syracuse is one of the best teams in the East, and it's a great win when you can beat them," Harward Assistant Coach John Dineen said.
It was beautiful tennis weather--sunny, a light breeze and temps nearing 80--when Harvard ace Elizabeth Evans sizzled her first serve and got the ball rolling for the 8-3 (3-0 Ivies) Crimson.
Evans, however, was one of the few Harvard players who had to scrap for her win. Evans, ranked third nationality at the beginning of the season, squared off against Stephanie Rice--one of the top players in the East.
They split the first two sets, with Evans pulling out the third--and the match, 6-2.
Junior Erika Smith and sophomores Robin Boss and Kathy Vigna went on to win in straight sets--losing a mere five games between the three of them.
"I was most pleased with Erika, Robin, and Kathy, they played well, and went on to win easily," Harvard Assistant Coach John Dineen said.
Freshman Cyndy Austrian and senior Debbie Kaufman escaped with two tight victories to complete Harvard's clean sweep of singles.
If Syracuse is going to hurt you, however, it's going to hurt you with its doubles.
The Crimson had no respect for the highly touted Orange tandems, steamrolling Syracuse without losing a set.
"It's probably the best we've played yet, as a unit," Usher said.
Evans and Boss trounced the Rice sisters, Susan and Stephanie, 6-0, 6-3.
"They're a good team, (the Rice sisters), we just played super," Boss said. "We just played great, I could behave some of the gets I had."
Smith and Vigna stampeded through their compention 6-1, 6-1.
With Cynds Austrian replacing Debbie Kautman and doubles, Austrian and Robert Hing took a 6.6.2 win.
Austrian and Hing haven't played doubles together since the fall and it took them a while to get back into the saving of things.
"We were a little shaky in the first set, put everything just went our way in the second," Austrian said.
Usher called the Austrian-Hing team an experiment.