It’s fair to say Benjamin Oh is facing a bit more pressure than the average Penn student this week. That’s because Oh’s version of finals doesn’t involve competing with classmates to get friendly curves on exams or essays. Rather, it entails of battling with some of the top athletes in the nation at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where Oh is one of sixteen men’s short track speed skaters seeking to qualify for Team USA’s five spots at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
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.
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.
While multiple former Quakers have been bouncing around preseason and practice squads for the past few years, the past year represented the program’s best chance in decades to land skill players in high-profile spots.
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.
DPOSTM reclaimed its rightful place at the throne on Tuesday, doubling up the NARPs by a score of 56-28 in the 2017 Kamin Cup at Franklin Field.
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.
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.
After earning his first Ivy League Player of the Week award of the season two weeks ago by putting in a 55-minute effort at Monmouth, the sophomore guard won his second this week after totaling 41 points across three games.
After playing the most minutes of any men’s basketball team in the country in November, the schedule quiets down considerably in December. After dispatching Dayton at their home court on Saturday, the Quakers won’t return to action until December 27. That is a gap of 17 days without a game.
At 8-4, Penn is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season, when the Fran Dunphy-led Quakers finished undefeated in Ivy League play. That’s notable in itself, but what’s even more impressive is that the Red and Blue have been doing nearly all of their damage away from the Palestra.
The non-sports team, previously known as the Weenies, pulled off a stunning upset in 2016, ending DPOSTM's 10-year winning streak. The team finds itself in the position of "reigning champion" for the first time in a decade, and also finds itself in the middle of a rebrand after shocking revelations regarding the contentious origins of its previous name. Sources confirmed that the team will at least temporarily be competing as the "NARPs," or the Non-Athletic Regular People, named after the team mascot, Executive Editor Dan Spinelli.
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.
Injuries proved too much for Penn to overcome, as in just about every weight class of Sunday’s match, the Quakers were stymied by No. 5 Lehigh and fell by a score of 41-6. Although the Red and Blue (3-2) briefly held the lead at 6-5 after two bouts, Lehigh (5-1) scored 36 unanswered points to close out the match.
Perhaps what was most impressive about Jones’ play, though, was just how efficient his scoring was. Jones finished the week with almost as many points (27) as minutes (31), and in each of Penn’s last two games, his scoring total exceeded his total minutes played.