The Penn women’s basketball freshmen are eager to add to the winning formula that has produced back-to-back Ivy League titles for the Quakers the past two seasons.
Whether one sees Penn as the little brother to the Harvard-Yale-Princeton triumvirate or not, though, one thing is undeniable — the Ivy League is improving, and fast.
As the Quakers graduated one of their all-time great centers in Sydney Stipanovich, the 6’4” freshman from Charlotte, N.C. will be stepping into a big void. Given her raw talent and knack for learning the game, coach Mike McLaughlin sees her as worthy of earning the starting-five nod to kick off the season.
The freshman four — Jarrod Simmons, Jelani Williams, Eddie Scott, and Mark Jackson — complement each other well and are looking to make an immediate impact on the program.
In addition to a greatly improved Ivy League this season, Penn women’s basketball also has the chance to play better non-conference teams, such as preseason top-five squads Notre Dame and Baylor, as well as local rivals in the annual Philadelphia Big 5 series.
While most eyes were focused on Penn football’s thrilling Homecoming victory over Princeton this weekend, more than half a dozen other teams were also in action for Penn Athletics — some playing their last competitions of the year, others playing their first.
This weekend, both Penn men’s and women’s squash finished third in the annual Ivy league squash scrimmages at Yale. It was a stellar result for the men's team, and a finish which may not have been perfect for the women, but still good nonetheless.
Penn men's soccer left Rhodes Field heartbroken after losing to rival Princeton, in a 2-1 overtime thriller on senior night. The Quakers (3-12-1, 1-4-1 Ivy) more than held their own against the Tigers (6-6-4, 2-2-2), who had not been defeated in their previous six games, going 4-0-2 in that span.
For Penn sprint football's seniors, Friday was a night to remember.
In their final regular season game, the Quakers took down Mansfield by a score of 35-13. The game also doubled as Senior Night, as Penn (6-1, 4-0 CSFL South) honored each of its nine seniors before kickoff.
Another Penn football win, another DP Sports’ Player of the Week award for senior star receiver Justin Watson.
After Saturday’s wild 38-35 Homecoming win over rival Princeton, combined with other results from the ever-tumultuous Ivy League, Penn football has launched itself back into the mix for the conference title.
A 15-yard pass from Fischer-Colbrie to Watson, who burned his man with ease on a cut to catch the ball in the end zone untouched, secured the win for Penn.
The Quakers have put up an impressive 246 yards of offense in the first half, to the Tigers’ 159. The visitors registered just 51 yards in the second quarter, which featured a fumble forced and recovered by senior linebacker Nick Miller to give Penn great field position, which it converted into a touchdown.
The Quakers (3-11-1, 1-3-1 Ivy) are at the tail end of a developmental season. With 11 freshmen entering the program this year, this season was about much more than wins and losses. Instead, the Red and Blue have been focused on improving every game.
With both swimming and diving coming off winning seasons, both squads are looking to dominate Columbia in their first competitions of the season. This meet carries some extra weight as well, because in addition to it being an Ivy matchup, it could serve as a major momentum-builder for the Quakers at such an early stage in the season.
On Saturday, the Quakers will compete on home turf against No. 12 Princeton for their final game of the season. Last year, the Quaker’s (9-7, 4-2 Ivy) season finale ended with a tough loss against the Tigers (10-6, 6-0) in a 6-1 blowout. This year, the team is focusing on winning their final game so that Princeton is forced to share the Ivy title with Harvard.
Penn football's title hopes are less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost... but still, they are alive.
The five seniors – Liz Mata, Alexa Hoover, Gina Guccione, Jasmine Li, and Rachel Huang – are captains, four-year starters, skillful scorers, record-breakers, defensive walls, and, above all, leaders. On Saturday, they will play Princeton in what will be their final game together.
“I want to go out with a bang,” said senior setter Sydney Morton, who along with five of her classmates will play her final home games this weekend. “I just want to put on a great show for [the fans] and get a W the last time I’m playing in the Palestra.”
Penn football will host Princeton on Saturday as it clings to its slim Ivy League title hopes. While the Quakers (3-4, 1-3 Ivy) claimed their first Ivy win in Providence, R.I. against Brown last weekend, they do not control their destiny. They currently rank seventh behind three 3-1 teams and three 2-2 teams, including Princeton (5-2, 2-2).