As the spring season enters its final stretch, each game's impact is that much more significant. Here are some of the key matchups for Penn athletics this weekend.
Men's and women's tennis vs. Yale
Coming in with a five-game losing streak dating back to the end of March, Penn men’s tennis (16-10, 0-5 Ivy) will look to reinvigorate its season this weekend against Yale (11-11, 0-5). The Bulldogs have also fallen in their last five games, all of which were against Ancient Eight opponents.
When Penn and Yale met last year, the Quakers secured a 5-2 win over the Elis. Penn performed especially well in the singles matchups, losing only one of its games.
This time, the Quakers will travel north to New Haven, Conn. and look for more of the same success.
On the women's side, Penn has beaten Yale in their last two meetings. This season, after an 0-2 start in League play, the Quakers are riding a three-game winning streak.
“All of our players are really playing at a high level. We’re healthy, we’re moving well, and at this point, we don’t really worry about how other teams are going to match up,” coach Sanela Kunovac said. “When we’re playing the way we know we can play — as we’ve been doing for the last few weeks — I think it’s other teams that have to make adjustments to us; we just need to be steady.”
Penn will host the Bulldogs on Saturday at the Hecht Tennis Center. This year, the Elis will have to deal with Penn standout Yulia Bryzgalova, who has posted a 26-3 record in her freshman season. At the same time, the Red and Blue will not be taking Yale lightly.
“They’ve performed very well over the years, and we have a lot of respect for them. We know how dangerous they are,” Kunovac said.
Men's and women's golf vs. the Ivy League
Penn golf will head to the Ivy League Championships this weekend in New Jersey. The first round begins on Friday, and the competition concludes with the third round on Sunday.
The men’s team has been on a hot streak recently, with a second place finish out of 13 teams at the Princeton Invitational two weeks ago and a third place finish at the Yale Spring Invitational last weekend.
Last year, the men’s team placed fifth in the Ivy League Championships.
The women had a strong season this year and will look to improve upon their seventh place finish at the Ivy Championships last season.
Men's and women's track vs. Princeton
Penn track is also headed to the Garden State to compete against its rival Princeton this weekend at the Larry Ellis Invitational.
This competition is an important tune-up for both the men’s and women’s teams, as it is their last meet before hosting the Penn Relays from April 25-27.
The teams competed against Princeton at the Sam Howell Invitational earlier this month, a meet that was also hosted by the Tigers. At this competition, senior Rachel Lee Wilson not only set a personal record but a program record in hammer throw. Sophomore Camille Dickson won the long jump and junior Maddie Villalba won the 800-meter run. The men’s team, led by junior Nathan Fisher and freshman Payton Morris, also took the top two spots in the pole vault at this meet.
At the Larry Ellis Invitational last year, the Quakers had several solid individual performances.
Senior Meghan Barnes set a personal record in the 100m hurdles and finished fourth overall in the event. She continued to impress over the course of this season, and at the TCNJ Opener in New York City this past fall season, she ran the third-fastest 60m hurdle time in school history (8.69).
On the men’s team, junior Colin Daly posted his best ever time in the 1,500m and placed third overall. He improved even more in the 2019 indoor season, earning seven top-10 finishes in that span.
The Quakers will look to build off of their strong recent showings before hosting the historic Penn Relays in two weeks.