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2-28-2020-womens-basketball-versus-yale-huddle-samantha-turner

Women's basketball players huddle at the beginning of the game against Yale at the Palestra on Feb. 2, 2020.

Credit: Samantha Turner

Due to the cancellation of Ivy League winter sports last year, there will be a total of 10 new faces on the court this season for Penn women’s basketball. Here’s a rundown of the team's newest members.

Marianna Papazoglou, freshman

Out of Wildwood, N.J. is 5-foot-10 guard Marianna Papazoglou. She spent four years as a captain at Wildwood Catholic Academy, where she is the all-time female leading scorer with 1,768 points. 

She became the first basketball player in school history to score 1,000 points in a single season. Additionally, Papazoglou played three years of AAU basketball for the Philadelphia Belles EYBL. 

Iyanna Rogers, freshman

6-foot-1 Iyanna Rogers from Richmond, Va. will be one of three new forwards on the court this season. Rogers was a four-year starter and two-year captain for Highland Springs High School where she earned two All-Region nods.

During her junior year, she earned a spot in ESPN’s top-60 female basketball prospects list. Rogers averaged nearly 14 points per game that season and totaled 342 points, 196 rebounds, 89 blocks, 61 steals, and 12 assists.

Rogers comes from a family of former collegiate basketball players, including her cousin Chris McCullough, who played in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards.

Stina Almqvist, freshman

From Kinna, Sweden, 6-foot guard Stina Almqvist will bring size, competitiveness, and versatility to the team. Prior to Penn, Almqvist played in the Swedish professional league, Svenska Basketligan Dam, for two seasons, and played with Marbo Basket for another 13 years.

She is a two-time winner of the Scania Cup, earning the scoring title, a selection to the All-Star team, and MVP of the final game in both years. Additionally, she is a two-time Swedish gold champion. She was awarded MVP and notched an All-Star team selection in both years.

Lexy Calhoun, freshman

Another backcourt addition for the Quakers is 5-foot-8 guard Lexy Calhoun from Barrington, R.I. At Harriton High School, Calhoun was a four-year starter and senior captain for both the school’s women’s basketball and soccer teams. She was recognized as Harriton Female Athlete of the Year twice and led her school to its first district finals game in 50 years.

Calhoun’s connection to Penn’s athletic program extends beyond basketball. Her father, Jason Calhoun, is the current head coach of the men’s golf team and her mother, M. Grace Calhoun, was the former Director of Athletics and Recreation. 

Lizzy Groetsch, freshman

Yet another backcourt addition is 5-foot-11 guard Lizzy Groetsch from Sewickley, Pa. During her time at North Allegheny Senior High School, Groetsch spent two years as captain, and led her team to a 103-8 record. She totaled 1,504 points, 704 rebounds, and 371 assists.

She comes into Penn with various titles to her name, including 2021 Pennsylvania Player of the Year Class 6A, 2021 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Player of the Year, 2020 Pennsylvania Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, two-time Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Girls Basketball Player of the Year, and two-time Cover 3 Athletics Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Sima Visockaite, freshman

Entering Penn with an abundance of international experience is 6-foot-2 forward Sima Visockaite from Kaunas, Lithuania. She has played for the Lithuanian national team since 2016 and was named best Under-18 Lithuania player in 2019.

Visockaite has competed in three FIBA European women’s championships and was honored with the Art Turner Memorial Player of the Year award in 2019. Her high level of play will be a great addition to the team.

Jordan Obi, sophomore

Despite being a sophomore, 6-foot-1 forward Jordan Obi from Cupertino, Calif. will play her first game as a Quaker this season. At Choate Rosemary Hall, Obi was a varsity letter winner all four years. She held a key role in leading Choate to the NEPSAC Class A final her sophomore year.

As senior captain, she averaged 19.5 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and 4 assists per game. Obi has scored more than 1,000 points over her career.

Michaela Stanfield, sophomore

Another newcomer for Penn women’s basketball is 6-foot guard Michaela Stanfield from Needham, Mass. 

Like many of her teammates, Stanfield was a four-year starter in high school and spent two years as captain at the Winsor School. Stanfield graduated as the school’s all-time leading scorer with over 1,500 points.

Some of her accolades include three-time NEPSAC All-Star, four-time Eastern Independent League All-Star, 2019-2020 Winsor Bremer Athletic Prize recipient, and two-time winner of the Winsor Basketball Cup.

Sydnei Caldwell, junior transfer

Sydnei Caldwell, a 5-foot-9 guard from Franklin Lakes, N.J., spent the first half of her collegiate career at Arizona State University. 

In her first season as a Sun Devil, she played in 18 games and averaged 6.7 minutes per game. Caldwell racked up six points in her debut game against Air Force. As a sophomore, she was one of just four players to compete in all 24 games of the 2020-2021 season. Caldwell averaged 14.4 minutes per game and totaled 105 points, 51 rebounds, 24 steals, and 18 assists. 

Nikola Kovacikova, senior transfer

A native of Krskany, Slovakia, 5-foot-10 guard Nikola Kovacikova arrived at Penn as a transfer from Georgetown in 2020, but will play her first game as a Quaker this year. 

Kovacikova averaged 7.9 points per game her sophomore season at Georgetown, and was the Hoyas' third leading scorer that same year. Kovacikova is also a member of the Slovak women's national team and has represented her country at EuroBasket twice — in 2018 and in 2021. 

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