Call them the "Swaggy Six," or the "Super Sophs", or the "Bars Bunch"; no matter the alias, Penn gymnastics will be tough to beat this year due to a record-breaking crop of sophomores on the bars.
After back injuries during her sophomore year forced senior Emily Shugan to end her career as a gymnast, she has since leaped into a new role on the team: student assistant coach.
It's not that Nwokedi's impact on each game has diminished. Rather, coach Mike McLaughlin and the team have needed her to play a new role this season. And, according to McLaughin, the changes in the past few weeks have been due to her growth in that new role.
Though most programs would hesitate to refer to a two-season title hiatus as a drought, the mentality for Penn gymnastics is clear. It’s “championship-or-bust time” for the Red and Blue, and the 2018 squad is more than ready to do so.
It is clear that if the team is to reach its full potential and win the Ivy or ECAC Championship, a significant part of the credit should go to the two returning co-captains, and the attitude and togetherness they bring to the program.
After finishing last out of four teams in its first meet of the season, the Lindsey Ferris Invitational, with a relatively low score of 190.375, Penn gymnastics (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) hopes to bounce back this upcoming weekend as it travels to New Haven to take on Yale, both teams' first one-on-one Ivy League matchup in 2018.
In this week's edition of Is Stat So?, we look at several individual and team records that were broken this weekend, as well as a few key numbers that allowed men's squash and women's basketball to emerge victorious.
Following the sweeps, two stars of the Penn men’s and women’s basketball programs, sophomore forward AJ Brodeur and freshman center Eleah Parker, were named Ivy League Player of the Week for their contributions.
Just a week after freshman Andrew Douglas’ comeback win to beat No. 6 Rochester, Penn needed another ninth game win to beat Yale 5-4. Meanwhile, Penn’s women fell to the Elis by the same score. Against Brown on Sunday, both teams eliminated any chance for a dramatic ending by sweeping the Bears 9-0.
Both Red and Blue squads struggled in their final Ivy League meet of the regular season. The Quakers’ men fell to Harvard, 181-108, while the women fell respectively to Brown and Harvard by scores of 178-119 and 197-100.
Penn fencing had an up and down weekend against some of the top fencing programs in the country.
The Quakers (11-4 for both men and women) had a busy weekend in State College, Pa. The men and women defeated North Carolina and Haverford but fell short to Columbia, Penn State, and Duke.
A year after opening the 2017 season with an impressive second-place finish at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational, Penn gymnastics struggled to match that effort this time around, finishing in last place with a score of 190.375.
After Penn women’s basketball lost to arch-rival Princeton last Saturday, the team rebounded spectacularly this weekend, defeating Cornell and Columbia in consecutive weekends behind the stellar play of Eleah Parker.
The Quakers started off a little slow, but outplayed Columbia for the final 35 minutes of the game en route to a largely comfortable 70-51 win. The night before, The Red and Blue took down Cornell by a score of 68-48 to sweep the New York Ivies. Against the Lions, Penn (8-5, 2-1 Ivy) was led once again by another dominant performance from freshman Eleah Parker who set a new career high with 22 points.
Penn women’s basketball put the rest of the Ivy League on notice with Friday’s 68-48 home victory against Cornell. The Quakers, while not playing a perfect game, took a step in the right direction with their first Ivy victory of the young season.
From the opening tip — which Penn won and led to senior Lauren Whitlatch’s first three — the Quakers dominated Cornell physically all over the court on the way to a 68-48 win.
The absence of the Brown's men's swimming from the meet on Jan. 13 will change the approach that the Quakers plan to take in deciding this weekend’s lineups.
On Thursday, Penn Athletics introduced a new series of game day enhancements, including a limited amount of free student tickets, that will debut at Penn men’s and women’s basketball’s doubleheader with Cornell this Friday at the Palestra. The news comes a day after Penn Athletics announced a new partnership with Uber that will provide Penn students with free uberPOOL rides to and from the Palestra for select men’s basketball games.
Eleah Parker seems to have gotten over the first-year jitters, as she has grown into one of the premier scoring options for the Red and Blue. Over the past seven games, the rookie center leads the team with 13.7 points per game, garnering double digit points in each game and three Ivy Rookie of the Week awards in the process.
To open the season, the gymnastics team is traveling to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, where the Quakers will face Cornell and George Washington in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational. Cornell is an Ivy rival and GW is a top-25 ranked team, but for team captain Kyra Levi, it doesn’t matter who the Quakers are up against.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Is Stat So?, a compilation of some of the most interesting stats to come out of Penn Athletics from the week. Each week, we'll highlight a few different numbers that go beyond the box score, and give deeper insight behind Penn's biggest wins and losses.
If the Quakers have all of their best athletes on the floor, we think the Red and Blue men will drive home as tournament champions. As for the women, closing the gap with Columbia might be a tall task, not to mention that the women have a harder field because Temple does not have a men’s team. But still, we expect the Quakers to improve on last year’s effort with a second-place finish here.
Both the men’s and women’s teams experienced an inconsistent meet, picking up wins against host Dartmouth, 249-104 and 235-118 respectively, but suffering big losses to Yale, 123-230 and 80-273 respectively.
In its Ivy opener, Penn women's basketball fell to Princeton, 70-55. The Quakers (6-5, 0-1 Ivy) struggled offensively, while Princeton (11-3, 1-0), behind strong performances from junior Gabrielle Rush, sophomore Bella Alarie, and senior Leslie Robinson, proved too much for the Red and Blue to handle. Here are some takeaways from the game.
On Saturday, Penn women’s basketball fell to Princeton, 70-55 at the Palestra. The Quakers shot just 33 percent from the field, while the Tigers connected on 24 out of 51 of their shots, including 8 of 21 from three.
2017 is over, but at least one thing isn’t changing in the new year. On Monday, Penn women’s basketball freshman center Eleah Parker was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for a third straight week.
The win captured the NJIT Highlanders Christmas Tournament for the Quakers (6-4), who outscored opponents 159-90 across the two-game competition. Both games set new season records for margin of victory, and Parker earned tournament MVP honors.
NEWARK, N.J. — It was all Quakers, all night long. Dominating from the beginning on both sides of the ball, Penn women’s basketball soundly defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 82-52, on Thursday night in the NJIT Highlanders Christmas tournament.
For the second straight week, Penn women's basketball's Eleah Parker was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Parker is the first Quaker to earn the award in consecutive weeks since current senior Michelle Nwokedi took home four straight during the 2014-2015 season.
It took them eight games, but they’re finally hitting their stride.
On Friday, Penn women’s basketball began the next phase of its season with a dominant 84-66 victory over Rhode Island at the Palestra just one day after the end of final exams.
Penn women’s basketball might have only had one game this past week, but that one game was all it took for freshman center Eleah Parker to earn recognition as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
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.