While the rest of us will be at Penn Park this weekend for the Spring Fling concert, several of the Penn teams will compete in pivotal Ivy League contests.
After coming off of an impressive weekend at the Princeton Invitational, the Quakers are prepared for this Saturday’s Yale Invitational in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale, who is currently at the top of the conference, barely edged out Penn for first place last weekend. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 2-over-par, while the Quakers were a close second at 5-over-par.
This Saturday is a shot at redemption.
Senior captain and Daily Pennsylvanian Associate Sports Editor Carter Thompson has been at the stern of the Red and Blue’s success the past several matches, shooting a team low of 71 last weekend, good for 3-under-par. For the Quakers to be competitive this weekend, Thompson has to be at the top of his game.
As it stands, Penn is in fifth place in the Ivy League. This is the last competition before the Ivy League Championship the following weekend, making it a crucial weekend for the team’s confidence.
With a 13-10 overall record, the Red and Blue have, on paper, had an average season thus far.
But Ivy League play has brought out the best in men's tennis. After losing to Columbia on Saturday and coming back a day later to defeat Cornell in a close match, the Quakers have proven that they have stamina and resilience. The depth of the team was apparent on Sunday when sophomore Max Cancilla and freshman Aleks Huryn came out on top in a tiebreaker to give the Quakers the 2-1 advantage and the much-needed doubles point to give them the overall win over the Big Red.
Junior Kyle Maunter is the player to watch going into matchups against Brown and Yale this weekend. The junior is as steady as ever and is riding the wave of his seven match winning streak.
Currently at 1-2 in conference play, the Quakers need a strong weekend to keep them in contention for the Ivy League title. Matchups at Brown and Yale could make that goal a tall task. So far, the Red and Blue have yet to win an away match this season.
That being said, Penn is coming off a promising win against Cornell last Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Ashley Zhu came in clutch against the Big Red winning her match in two dominating sets of 6-1 and 7-5. Penn will need Zhu’s confidence and positive mindset going into this weekend's Ivy League matchups.
All three teams will be in action this weekend in three different competitions, with heavyweight rowing competing in the Blackwell Cup, the lightweights in the Dodge Cup, and the women in the Knecht Cup.
If the past weekend was all about learning for the women, this upcoming weekend should be about implanting the knowledge and experience they have gained thus far.
Their lightweight counterparts will face off against Columbia and Yale after falling short against Cornell in two 2,000 meter races this past weekend. Still early in the season, this weekend will show whether or not the Quakers have found their rhythm in the water.
So far this spring season, the heavyweight men have had solid performances. The group took second this past weekend in the Child’s Cup race against Princeton and Columbia and fifth in the Copley Classic in San Diego. At this point in the season, it could be the Quakers time to break out and take gold against Columbia and Yale.
Track and Field
The Red and Blue barely have a break this weekend, as they will compete in the Tennessee Relays, the Temple Invitational, and the Bison Outdoor Classic.
The women have seen record after record fall already this spring season, but three names to watch during this weekend’s events are Cecil Ene in the 100m and 200m, Maura Kimmel in the shot put, and Breanne Bygrave in the 100m hurdles.
The men may have not yet seen the same success as the women, but they have been steadily improving. Fans should be on the lookout for sophomore Nathan Fisher in the pole vault, freshman Christian Constantin in the long jump, and senior Ian Kirk in the high jump.
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