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Sophomore outside hitter Parker Jones tied her season high with 18 kills while hitting .357 against Columbia, but it wasn't enough as the Quakers lost in four sets.

Credit: Maddie Magee

While there were many eyes glued to Penn football and women’s soccer this weekend, there was plenty else going for the rest of Penn athletics. Three teams opened their season this weekend — wrestling, fencing, and swimming — while others are watching their seasons come to a close. 

Wrestling

Penn wrestling began its much-anticipated campaign at the Michigan State Open. 

The Quakers boast a highly regarded recruiting class — even in national terms — and all of the freshmen were able to make an impact on the mat. All of the nine freshmen competing won at least one match.

However, one freshman’s performance stood out above the rest. Anthony Artalona won the championship in the 149-pound division. The freshman from outside Tampa, Florida won four matches on his way to the crown. 

Other notable performances for the Red and Blue came from freshmen Carmen Ferrante and Greg Bensley as well as from sophomore Ryan Farber. Ferrante, who was wrestling in the 125 lbs division, went 4-2 and finished the tournament in fifth place. Bensley wrestled at 197 lbs and claimed a sixth place finish, while Farber also placed sixth in the 184 lbs division. 

Fencing

The Penn men’s and women’s fencing teams kicked off their season this weekend at the Garret Penn State Open. The two-day individual event featured the women on Saturday and the men on Sunday. 

The Red and Blue had a particularly strong showing in the women’s and men’s sabre segment.  Freshmen Lark Izenson and Steven Lin both took bronze finishes in the event. 

In the women’s foil, junior Nicole Vaiani led the Red and Blue with a 14th place finish. In the women’s epee, sophomore Emma Harris had the best showing for the Quakers with a 27th place finish. 

In the men’s foil, Penn had multiple strong performances. Senior Raymond Chen finished sixth in the event, just ahead of junior Willie Upbin, who placed tenth. Freshman Jerry Wu also had a good showing in his first event with a 17th place finish. 

In the men’s epee, the Red and Blue were led by senior Justin Yoo who placed fifth in the event. Freshman Emon Daroian and sophomore Sean Wilson had good showings as well with 18th and 24th place finishes, respectively. 

Swimming

Penn swimming opened its season this weekend at home against Columbia. The Red and Blue split the weekend with the men emerging victorious 172-128 while the women fell 129-157. 

On the men’s side, the Red and Blue snatched a quick victory in the 200-yard medley relay. Later, the dominant senior Mark Andrew won the 200 individual medley and finished second in the 200 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke. Freshman CJ Hinckley notched his victory in the Red and Blue by winning the 1000 free. Sophomore Will Thomas also claimed his first victory by winning the 500 free. Senior Mark Blinstrub took first in the 100 and 200 backstroke, and sophomore Boris Yang finished first in the 100 and 200 breast. 

On the women’s side, the Red and Blue dominated the 1000 butterfly with freshman Catherine Buroker, senior Erin Kiely and freshman Grace Giddings taking the top three spots. Senior captain Nancy Hu took first in the 200 fly. Freshman Hannah Kannan notched a win in the 100 back. Another freshman, Tara Larusso got a victory in the 200 back. 

Volleyball

Penn volleyball traveled to take on the New York Ivies — Cornell and Columbia — this weekend. 

On Friday, the Red and Blue (5-18, 2-10 Ivy) faced off against the Big Red (12-9, 8-4). The match saw the Quakers come up short, losing in straight sets.

In the first set, the Quakers were down early and were never able to catch back up, losing 25-16. The second set, however, presented an opportunity for the Red and Blue to square up the match. There were multiple runs made by each team throughout the course of the set and the Quakers found themselves up 13-11, but another run by Cornell proved to be too much for Penn to overcome, and they dropped the set 25-19. 

The runs from the Big Red continued into the next set. Cornell took a sizable 18-9 advantage in the set and seemed ready to close out the match. However, the Red and Blue were able to keep things interesting by closing the score before the Big Red hung on to emerge victorious. 

Penn's second match against Columbia (10-12, 4-8) was tightly contested from the beginning. Although they fell in four sets, the Quakers had some strong individual performances. 

Sophomore outside hitter Parker Jones, who is also a DP staffer, tied her season high in kills with 18 while hitting .357. Senior middle hitter Brooke Behrbaum tied her career high with 10 kills on .389. Senior setter Grace James also tied a career high with 47 assists in the match. 

Columbia won the first set, 25-20, thanks to a 5-1 run late in the set that allowed the Lions to pull away from the Quakers. In the second set, the Red and Blue were down early but were able to tie up the set at 14. Later in the set, the Quakers were down 22-23 and in danger of falling into a 2-0 hole, but kills from Jones and sophomore Raven Sulaimon helped the Red and Blue win the last three points to take the set 25-23. 

In both the third and the fourth sets, the Quakers held the advantage late. Unfortunately for Penn, Columbia was able to find a way to win each of the close sets, 25-23 and 25-21, respectively. 

The Red and Blue will wrap up their season next weekend at the Palestra when they will host Dartmouth and Harvard. 

Men’s Soccer 

Penn men’s soccer marathon season continued this weekend as the Red and Blue fell 2-1 in overtime against Princeton. The Red and Blue (4-5-6, 1-4-1) were down 1-0 until the 84th minute when they got an equalizer courtesy of an Alex Touche header. The sophomore defender’s goal came from a corner kick from junior midfielder Brandon Bartel, and was Touche's team-leading fourth goal of the season as well as Bartel’s fifth assist of the year. 

Princeton (10-4-2, 5-0-1) quickly nabbed the victory in overtime, though, needing just seven minutes in the extra period to claim the victory. The Tigers outshot the Quakers by a margin of 17 to four, but few of those shots were on frame. The result was that senior goalkeeper Scott Forbes only had one more save than his Princeton counterpart. 

The Red and Blue will take on Harvard next weekend during homecoming and will be looking to get a victory to close out their season. 

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