Heading into this weekend, Penn men’s tennis knew that this was going to be one of, if not the toughest, pair of matches the team would face all season.
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It was a busy weekend for the Penn men’s and women’s tennis squads with both teams splitting a pair of matches.
Not dead yet.
This season has not been kind to Penn men’s basketball. Coming into Friday’s game against Columbia, the Quakers were winless in six Ivy League contests and in desperate need of a better performance to have any shot of making the Ivy League Tournament. The Red and Blue played one of their best halves of the year in the first 20 minutes, and after relinquishing the lead early in the second, were able to gut out the victory on the back of 48 rebounds and 12 three-pointers. Let’s go to the player ratings.
When Penn men’s tennis sophomore Kyle Mautner quit hockey at the age of 12 to focus on tennis, he began making the hour-long trek from his home in Greenwich, Conn. to Long Island five times a week.
There were mixed results for Penn men’s tennis in the opening weekend of its spring season, as the Red and Blue kicked off the year down in the Volunteer State with a win over Middle Tennessee State and a sweep at the hands of Vanderbilt.
When Yale men’s basketball beat Baylor in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the entire sports world celebrated the win as a “victory for the nerds.” The kids who studied textbooks at halftime had defeated a Big 12 school on the biggest stage. The David and Goliath references came from almost every media source.
Penn basketball knew that its opening set of non-conference games to start the season would be challenging. The Quakers were right.
When Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beating three to defeat North Carolina and give Villanova the NCAA national championship, the entire city of Philadelphia celebrated. Fast forward eight months, and the Wildcats are 6-0, ranked No. 2 in the country and playing like a team poised for another title run.
In their season opener against Robert Morris last Friday, Penn basketball took an early lead and never looked back, running away with a 67-50 win.
It was a big week for Penn sports, with three athletes receiving individual awards following a pair of weekend wins for football and basketball.
After Harvard cancelled the rest of their men’s soccer season, the Ivy League standings flew wide open. With the Quakers, Dartmouth and Columbia all separated by just one standings point, the conference title — and a NCAA Tournament berth — were both suddenly up for grabs.
After conceding four goals to both Villanova and Dartmouth during a three-game losing skid, Penn men’s soccer righted the ship on Saturday against Yale.
In its first Ivy League game of the year, Penn football took on Dartmouth, a team that shared the conference title with the Quakers in 2015. Penn won, and it wasn’t particularly close.
Head coaching positions in Division I athletics don’t come easily. The road to these roles often involves numerous steps, many of which involve switching schools and moving across the country. Before ever even interviewing for a head coaching job at a school, one may work alongside and under many other coaches.
In 2008 and 2013, Rob Irvine was on the sideline as Penn men’s soccer won the Ivy League Championship. After an eight-year tenure from 2006-14 as one of head coach Rudy Fuller’s most trusted assistants, Irvine will once again be coaching at Rhodes field.
In September of last year, the Penn men’s soccer team took the field against the Washington Huskies, a team ranked No. 7 in the country. They held on for a scoreless draw, a fantastic result for a young, talented squad against a heavily favored Pac-12 opponent. However, despite the early optimism, the Quakers would go on to have a season that could only be summed up as disappointing.
It almost seemed impossible.
The expansion and widespread success of club sports across the country has had a tremendous effect on college students over the last decade.
Coming off its first Ivy League win of the season last weekend, Penn women’s tennis hoped to build on that confidence as two ranked opponents, Harvard and Dartmouth, arrived in Philadelphia.