Cheering for Women’s Basketball at the Big Dance in LA

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

It started with a direct message on twitter on Monday afternoon, March 13th. Philly.com’s Big 5 Basketball reporter (and Penn and DP alumnus) Jonathan Tannenwald, sent me a message, “Get to the women’s selection show asap. That’s all I can say for now.”

What was he talking about? A quick search on the internet, and I soon knew – the Penn Women’s Basketball team was headed to Los Angeles for the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament!

Penn was seeded 12th in the Bridgeport (Connecticut) Regional and was set to play fifth-seeded Texas A&M in the first round at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, March 18.

The next morning, I connected with my classmate Mitchell Kraus, C’93, and we simultaneously purchased our tickets for the game in the Penn section from Penn athletics. We were going to cheer for the Quakers at the Big Dance in Los Angeles!

Let's Go Quakers!

Let’s Go Quakers! Photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

I posted on my Facebook page about the game, and in our class Facebook group, and soon another classmate, Jodilynn Baird Styner, W’93, had purchased game tickets as well.

On the day of the game, Penn Athletics hosted a pre-game reception, and I was happy to see fellow fans Jordan Rockwell, C’00, and his wife Julie, and Harry Rosenberg, W’79, and his wife Laurie Sayet. After toasting Penn and the Quakers, we walked over to Pauley Pavilion for the start of the game.

Pauley Pavilion at UCLA, home of the first round of the women's NCAA basketball tournament in 2017

Pauley Pavilion at UCLA, photo credit Vicky Sin, C’00

NCAA Women's Basketball tournament first round t-shirts on sale at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion

NCAA tournament t-shirts on sale, photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Jordan and I were excited to see the display at Pauley with the four teams competing in the first round there – and posed by the Penn Athletics logo.

Penn Athletics logo at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion for the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament

Jordan Rockwell, C’00, and I pose by the Penn logo on display at Pauley Pavilion

And then we bumped into the Quaker!

Kiera Reilly and Jordan Rockwell pose with the Penn Athletics mascot the Quaker at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion

The Quaker is in Los Angeles!

We were excited to see that the Penn Band and Penn Cheer made the trip to Los Angeles too.

Penn Band and Cheerleaders at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament

Penn Band and Cheerleaders, photo credit Vicky Sin, C’00

Penn warms up before the game, photo credit JodiLynne Bayrd Steiner, W'93

Penn warms up before the game, photo credit JodiLynne Bayrd Steiner, W’93

Soon, the players were being announced and the game was underway.

Penn Women's Basketball team at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion for round one of the NCAA tournament

The Penn Women’s Basketball team huddles, photo credit Laurie Sayet

And what a game it was. For three quarters, Penn dominated the game. And then Texas A&M turned things around with just over eight minutes left to play and won the game 63-61. For a complete re-cap of the game, you can read more from Penn Athletics.

Penn cheerleaders during a break in the game

Penn cheerleaders during a break in the game, photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Penn Band plays at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion

The Penn Band sounded awesome! Photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Penn Women's Basketball huddles during NCAA Women's Basketball tournament round 1 game

Penn huddles during the game, photo credit Vicky Sin, C’00

While the Quakers lost, we were thrilled to watch them play in Los Angeles. This was Penn’s third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, and this year was a successful season. The team won the inaugural Ivy League Tournament with a win over Princeton, and won the Ivy League regular season title with a 13-1 record and were 22-7 overall. Junior Michelle Nwokedi was named the Ivy League Player of the Year.

Here are some photos and thoughts from fellow Quaker fans at the game. Let’s give a big Hurrah, Hurrah to the Women’s Basketball team! #FightonPenn

“We all wish the game would have ended differently, but it was still a lot of fun to see the team play — not to mention the Quaker and the band! Especially for those of us who can’t get back to Philadelphia very often, it was an exciting opportunity for us to show our Penn pride here at home.”  ~Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00
“Well although the team lost, the band sounded great and is still undefeated.”
~Mitchell Kraus, C’93

“I loved seeing the Penn Women’s Basketball team at the NCAA game at Pauley Pavilion. Having grown up in Los Angeles, it was a special treat to hear, “The Red and the Blue,” and watch the Penn Band in my hometown. I felt proud to be in the stands with my Penn t-shirt on cheering! Go Quakers!”  ~Lisa Niver, C’89

“I am very proud of our team for their achievements! The players are amazing. I’d gone to two NCAA games with the Penn Band for the men’s team in 1999 and 2000 but this is the first women’s post-season game I’ve attended. So it was really fun for me personally to get back in the “crazy fan” mode. The band sounded awesome as always! Special shout-out to Greer for fearlessly herding a plane load of college kids across the country and back.” ~ Vicky Sin, C’00

“It was wonderful to rekindle the Penn spirit and sing all the great Penn songs!” ~JodiLynne Bayrd Steiner, W’93

 

“In spite of the loss, Saturday was so fun! I got more fired up as the game went on! No matter where we are, as long as there are at least two Quaker fans in the seats, it feels like a million!”

~Jordan Rockwell, C’00

Penn Band at UCLA Pauley Pavilion during NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament

The Penn Band remains undefeated!

Mitchell Kraus, C'93, with his son, and I pose with Penn Band Director Greer Cheeseman, EAS'79

Mitchell Kraus, C’93, with his son, and I pose with Penn Band Director Greer Cheeseman, EAS’79

Lisa Niver, C'89, with the Quaker at Pauley Pavilion UCLA for NCAA Women's Basketball tournament

Everyone wants a photo with the Quaker! Here he poses with Lisa Niver, C’89

Penn Alumni Kiera Reilly and Lisa Niver at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament

I love that Lisa is wearing a very limited edition I ❤ LA Penn t-shirt!

Everyone wanted a picture with the Quaker! Here I am with Penn Club LA's Aileen Level, C'99, GED'00

Everyone wanted a picture with the Quaker! Here I am with Penn Club LA’s Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Penn section at the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament at UCLA Penn vs Texas A&M

I walked around after half-time and took this photo of the Penn section

Game action, photo credit Aileen Level, C'99, GED'00

Game action, photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Penn Women's Basketball bench during the game, photo credit Kiera Reilly, C'93

Penn Women’s Basketball bench during the game, photo credit Kiera Reilly, C’93

Penn Cheerleaders photo by Kiera Reilly

Penn Cheerleaders rally the Penn fans

Penn Cheerleaders and the Quaker sit in front of the Penn Band during the game, photo credit Aileen Level, C'99, GED'00

Penn Cheerleaders and the Quaker sit in front of the Penn Band during the game, photo credit Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00

Ivy League Champions Penn Women's Basketball! photo by Kiera Reilly

Ivy League Champions Penn Women’s Basketball!

 

 


 

 

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Filed under Athletics, Kiera R., Lisa Ellen Niver, Los Angeles, Penn Athletics, Penn Basketball, Photos

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