The match that the Harvard men's squash team had been priming for went easier than expected.
The match that followed, however, nearly ended the team's 65-game winning streak.
In a pair of matches at Hemenway Gym, Harvard recorded an exciting 6-3 victory over Princeton Saturday in front of 500 spectators, and was nearly steamrolled by a sharp Franklin & Marshall squad yesterday before pulling out a 5-4 triumph before 250 fans.
The Diplomats were within one point of knocking out Harvard during the last match. Seth Handy fell behind Richard Fisher, 4-3, in a fourth game tie-breaker before pulling out an 18-17 win. Handy captured the last game, 15-12, to ensure the Crimson triumph.
"It was scary," Handy said. "Very scary."
The Diplomats had an advantage before the match even started. Co-Captain Russ Ball, who suffered an injury in his match against Princeton's Keen Butcher on Saturday, sat out the match against the Diplomats.
This forced everyone from numbers three to nine to move up a spot.
Jim Masland continued his dazzling play, whipping Nat Otis in three straight, 15-4, 15-11, 15-9, while James Gilfillan did the same to his opponent.
Co-Captain Jack Polsky continued to play as though he had never been injured. The senior dominated every facet of the game, recording a 15-4, 15-11, 15-9 victory.
Jack Colbourne, playing at number two instead of his normal three position, played a gutsy match against Tim Long.
After dropping two of the first first three games, Colbourne rallied to captured the fourth game, 18-17. However, Long captured a tough 18-16 victory in the fifth game.
After Paul Gardi's loss, the Crimson found itself down 4-2 in the overall score with two matches left on court. Darius Pandole, who is also nursing an injury, cruised to a 15-9, 15-4, 15-6 victory over Aashish Kamat.
"Basically, we nixed them," Masland said. "It was like a gun fight and we brought a cannon [Handy]."
"It was exciting," Handy said of his match. "I figured the match was tied at 4-4 when I saw all of those people watching."
It was supposed to be the year of the Tiger. It was supposed to be the year that Princeton dethroned Harvard as national champions.