After playing seven games in just about as much time this past month, Penn women’s basketball will look rebound from a tough early schedule over winter break and look to come out with its heads held high.
Taking a step back from the actual games themselves, 2017 was an exciting year for the Penn Athletics community.
Sometimes, the numbers don't tell everything. With a little more than a month gone in the season, Penn women's basketball currently sits at 3-4. The small number of games played by the Red and Blue has led to a small sample size of stats and observations, but there are several overarching trends from the team as it approaches Ivy play.
Penn women’s basketball ended its semester on Monday night with a tough trip to Saint Joseph’s, escaping with a 57-50 win to kick off a brief 11-day break.
Considering the sheer competitiveness and ubiquity of Penn’s club culture, it seems only fitting that the Year in the Review issue takes into account the successes of Penn's club sports in 2017.
For many teams at Penn, there is one event that stands out over the others: The Ivy League Championship.
Both Penn men’s basketball and women’s basketball saw their seasons end in agonizing fashions last March, but neither of those final games should take away from thrilling 2017s for both teams.
The wire-to-wire domination that Penn women’s basketball displayed en route to its third conference title in four years was impressive, but that wasn’t the only Penn team to bring home Ivy League glory in 2017. A pair of Penn programs continued the elite play they’ve shown in recent years, as both Penn men’s fencing and Penn women’s lacrosse took home shares of the Ivy League title.
With various teams engaging in some instant classic battles, the Quakers have given fans a wild range of emotions throughout the calendar year, with the lone constant being thorough entertainment across the board.
All athletic directors have their own hiring methods, and all coaches interact with their respective teams differently, but both within Penn itself and the entire NCAA, team sports tend to have female coaches at a very high rate, while sports more individual in nature have been hiring male coaches in increasing numbers — and this is no coincidence.
Few expected Penn women's basketball to beat, or even hang with, No. 3 Notre Dame. But that didn't stop the Quakers from playing their hearts out in a 66-54 loss. And in that effort, they showcased why they are once again the favorites to win the Ivy title.
Despite the final result, it was Notre Dame who left disappointed, and the Quakers who held their heads high.
On December 9, Penn women’s basketball is set to take on No. 3 Notre Dame, which may prove to be a difficult matchup for the Quakers. Coming off of a tough Big 5 loss against La Salle (4-3) on November 29, the Quakers (2-3) are looking to rebound after a shaky start to the season.
But in the study, the Ivy League was the lone exception, earning the only “passing” score out of eight studied conferences, with 55 percent of its women’s varsity teams having female head coaches.
After the three long days of intense competition, the women placed fifth out of eight teams with 346 points, while the men came in third with 733 points, finishing behind only Denver (by just seven points) and the hosts, No. 15 Tennessee.
"I had so much adrenaline, so it didn't really affect me until after the match," Sedky explained seven hours later, with her nose still bleeding. "It did sting in the beginning, but it was fine."
In order to prepare for the tough competition they’ll face later this season, the Quakers keep up a high level of intensity and passion, even in the preseason.
It's not how you start that counts, it's how you finish. Penn women's basketball learned that the hard way tonight.
Some members of the Red and Blue don the colors of their home country in the summer months. Sara Papp of Hungary, Nicole Wong of Singapore, and Michael Li of the United States are just a few of the Quakers who have had the honor of representing their national team.
Penn men’s and women’s fencing have aspirations for an Ivy League Championship, and they have the leadership to back it up, with the team captains at the forefront.