Although the men’s and women’s basketball Ivy League Championships may have dominated the Penn athletics landscape this weekend, Penn’s many other teams were also quite productive over spring break in their own right.
For instance, the women’s lacrosse team swept its three matches over break, defeating No. 18 Cornell, Drexel, and No. 25 Georgetown. The No. 11 Quakers (6-0, 1-0 Ivy) who were the visitors in all three games, dominated the competition each time, proving emphatically that they will be a force this year, both in the Ivy League and on that national stage.
The men’s lacrosse team was unable to match this success, however. The No. 19 Red and Blue (3-3) had an inconsistent week. Their 11-3 win over Navy was sandwiched between losses to rivals No. 20 Penn State and No. 5 Villanova. As their respective rankings would indicate, both in-state foes were strong opponents, but if the Quakers want to live up to their lofty schedule and to assert themselves nationally, they need to string together multiple victories in a row, something they haven’t been able to do this season.
On the diamond, the Penn baseball team demonstrated similar inconsistencies. The Quakers (2-9) were swept by both Wofford and Furman before losing two of three to USC Upstate in South Carolina. In the lone win, junior third baseman Matt McGeagh was the most productive Quaker with three hits, a walk, and two RBI.
Penn softball replicated baseball’s struggles, finishing break with a 1-10 record at the USF Under Armor Invitational in Clearwater, Florida. Faced with strong competition such as Florida State, the Red and Blue were largely unable to halt the high-octane offenses of their opponents, although they did split a two-game series with Niagara.
Women’s tennis also exhibited early-season rust, falling to Loyola Marymount, Long Beach State, and No. 2 Pepperdine over the course of the break. The first two losses were tightly contested 3-4 affairs, while the match against juggernaut Pepperdine was a more decisive 1-6 defeat.
Meanwhile, men’s tennis had a much more successful break. The Quakers (8-9) won three of their five contests, defeating UNC Charlotte, Drexel, and UT Arlington. Their two losses came against No. 10 Texas and TCU. Neither the losses nor the wins were very close, as the Red and Blue won by scores of 7-0, 6-1, and 5-2 and lost 0-7 and 1-6.
Unfortunately for the Quakers, that success did not carry over to Penn gymnastics, as the Red and Blue finished behind Maryland and Yale on March 2 and behind Temple and Maryland again on March 9. However, the latter meet saw some major positives despite the third-place finish. The team posted a season-best score on the bars and on the vault, and its third-best score of the season overall. On the beam, junior Nicole Swirbalus posted her best score of the year, placing her third in the entire competition.