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Penn women's basketball defeats Harvard Credit: Joshua Ng , Joshua Ng

Penn emerged victorious from last year’s Ivy scramble. Let’s take a look at how the league is shaping up as we enter the new season.

The Contenders


Alyssa Baron and Meghan McCullough may have graduated, but coach Mike McLaughlin still has a lot to work with as he attempts to lead Penn to an Ivy title defense. Sophomore center Sydney Stipanovich is now the team’s unquestioned star, but the Quakers are by no means a one-woman team. The four senior captains all return to make for a fantastic supporting cast and freshman forward Michelle Nwokedi will enter the fray as well. The Red and Blue certainly have the talent to repeat atop the Ancient Eight.


The Tigers saw their streak of Ivy championships end at four when they lost last year’s season finale to Penn, but they will look to claw back and regain the top billing this season. Princeton boasts the league’s best backcourt, thanks to guards Blake Dietrick, a senior, and junior Michelle Miller . Junior forward Alex Wheatley gives the Tigers some firepower in the frontcourt as well, and it’s safe to assume that coach Courtney Banghart’s recruits will — as always — make a difference.

The Challengers


The Crimson will be hard-pressed to replace their graduated scoring leader Christine Clark , but senior forward Temi Fagbenle is a solid scorer and was the league’s top rebounder last season. Harvard had the second-best offense in the league last year, but if the Crimson are hoping to challenge Penn and Princeton, they’ll have to step it up on the defensive end.


The Bulldogs only have one senior on this year’s roster, but fortunately for Yale, captain Sarah Halejian happens to be one of the best players around, and the star guard has back-to-back first-team All-Ivy honors to prove it. The Bulldogs probably lack the depth and experience to truly compete for an Ivy title, but they have a very good shot at ending up in the top half.

Maybe Next Year


The Big Red graduated three of their top four scorers, including their star forward Allyson DiMagno . Sophomore Nia Marshall is a terrific forward who will make a lot of big plays over the next few years, but this year’s team, which features just three upperclassmen, doesn’t seem ready.


The Lions have sophomore forward Tori Oliver , but after that, the cupboard is pretty bare for coach Stephanie Glance’s crew, which was pretty weak on both sides of the ball last year.


The Big Green have one of the league’s more promising players in sophomore guard Fanni Szabo , but if the team can’t do something to fix the league’s worst offense — and its second-worst defense — it’s going to be a long season in Hanover.


The Bears were kept afloat, to some extent, by star guard Lauren Clarke last season, but with Clarke’s graduation, the ship seems destined to sink.

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