The road to Jack Barnaby's second consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate League tennis championship contains many obstacles, of varying size and difficulty. The Crimson takes on one of the biggest and toughest of these tomorrow, when it travels to Princeton to play a strong Tiger team.
Princeton, Barnaby says, is "always good and deep" and will be doubly troublesome on their home courts. The Tigers, for the first time in several years, lack a really outstanding star, and "you don't need a man like Dale Junta on your team to lick them at number one." But there is always a problem of adjustment to playing conditions for the visiting team, and, although the varsity did well at Navy and Penn, Princeton will be a good deal stiffer.
The Tigers' coach, John Conroy, said Wednesday night that his squad was "a little light this year compared to other years" and that the team had not been tested by strong competition since returning from its spring vacation southern trip.
Pending the results of challenge matches to be played today, the varsity will line up as it has in the past few matches, with Captain Ned Weld at number one singles. He will meet Princeton's Dave Brechner. Weld has won four of his five matches at number one this year.
The next five Crimson starters are unbeaten in northern competition. Sophomore star Bob Bowditch is at number two, followed by juniors Tim Gallwey and Fred Vinton, sophomore Jorge Lemann and senior Bill Wood. Their opponents, Tom Richardson (younger brother of Ham and no relation to Amherst's star), Sam Hinkle, Roy Anderson, Don LeWin and Ed Mills, while perhaps not as powerful as some previous Princeton teams, should put up a tough battle.
Tomorrow's contest will actually be two matches in one, with the top six singles and three doubles for EIL purposes and ten and five for Big Three standings. Conroy concedes that the varsity probably has an edge in the bottom four singles spots, where Jim Cameron, Laurie Pratt, Pete Smith and Scott Custer meet Tigers John Cartier, Tim Scarff, Kit Huttig and Toby Worth.
As for the doubles, where the match may well be decided if the singles are close as Barnaby fears and Conroy hopes, Weld-Bowditch, Lemann-wood and Gallwey-Vinton presently stand as the Crimson's first three pairs. Conroy expects to work with his doubles teams today, but says that he has been using Brechner-Anderson at number one, with Richardson-Hinkle at two and Scarff-Worth at three.
Barnaby plans to "psych" the last two doubles matches, using those men who do well in the singles. Landen Smith and possibly Bob Schwartz will make the trip, in addition to the ten singles men, and will probably be used in doubles play.
Despite Princeton's strength, the varsity, with one of the most powerful teams in the East, must be considered a slight favorite. But Barnaby points out that favored Princeton teams have lost on Crimson courts twice in the past few years, and Conroy says, "We'll give you a headache, especially in the six and three." It should be a good match.