The cliche about the nicest looking people being the most dangerous was never more true.
Before yesterday's women's squash match between Harvard and Yale at Hemenway Gym, Harvard Coach Bill Doyle led the traditional season-ending ceremony honoring the graduating players on both squads.
As the players smiled and clapped for each other, sentiment flowed. Flowers were given out, friends called out encouragement, and honorees looked down bashfully at their feet.
It seemed so, well, nice.
Then the match started. And Harvard crushed Yale.
With a quiet modesty that belied their utter domination, the Harvard women's squash team finished its team season by clinching the national championship.
The visiting Bulldogs proved no match for the overpowering Crimson, which finished the year with an 11-0 record and was 5-0 in Ivy play.
"We were really strong this year, while some other teams were kind of down," Doyle said. "We knew that if we stayed healthy and worked hard, we'd be tough to beat."
The Crimson women stayed healthy (for the most part) and worked hard and the results showed.
In yesterday's contests, the top nine Harvard women swept their Yale counterparts, each player winning by a clean 3-0 game score.
Junior Vanya Desai led the way, defeating Yale sophomore Emily Ash, while sophomore Libby Eynon beat junior Liz Marx.
All the way down the roster, it was more of the same. Fraiberg, 3-0. Cunningham, 3-0. Dockery, 3-0. Clark, 3-0. Shergalis, 3-0. Stovell, 3-0. Rand, 3-0.
What is there to say? This Crimson team was clearly the class of college squash this year.
"It's too bad that we didn't have more teams to push us to our limits, but the thing that has really impressed me has been the fact that every single person on this team worked hard," Doyle said. "They could have fooled around when it was easy, but they didn't. They all improved."
The scary thing--for Harvard opponents next year, at least--is that only three of the top nine players will be leaving the Crimson next season. The top three of Desai, Eynon and Fraiberg are all coming back, and a repeat championship is a realistic possibility.
After all, what can stop a team of such, uh, killers?