Category Archives: Athletics

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.’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

Fight On Penn Lacrosse!

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly


Womens Lacrosse for 5.9.14

Penn Women’s Lacrosse vs Canisius

4:00 PM EST

The Women’s Lacrosse team, Ivy League Champions for eight straight years, plays today at 4 pm EST in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Canisius.

Penn is the Ivy League’s automatic entrant into the NCAA Tournament via a 9-6 win over Princeton in the Ivy League Tournament championship game last Sunday, their eighth consecutive NCAA tournament – the sixth-longest active streak among Division I schools. The Quakers (11-4) will play the Golden Griffins of Canisius at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex at the University of Maryland. The Terrapins are the tournament’s top seed, and the winner of Friday’s game will advance to play the Terps on May 11.

To read more about the Women’s Lacrosse team, click here and in an article from The Daily Pennsylvanian.


Mens Lacrosse for 5.9.14

GAME 15 – #9 PENN (11-3) vs. #12 DREXEL (12-4)

NCAA Championship first round

Sunday, May 11, 2014,  3 p.m. EST

Franklin Field (Philadelphia)

TV: ESPNU (Mike Corey, Matt Ward)

The University of Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse team makes history this Sunday, when the Quakers host neighborhood rival Drexel in the first NCAA Championship game played by Penn at Franklin Field since 1988 (a 12-9 win over Loyola). The Red and Blue is looking for its first NCAA win since that same year (a 12-9 win over Loyola), and just the third in program history.

Read more about the team here and in an article from The Daily Pennsylvanian.

If you’re in Philly, come to Franklin Field on Sunday to cheer for our Quakers!

Follow both teams via their twitter handles @PennWomensLax and @PennMensLax, and look to or Facebook for game updates.




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Filed under Athletics, Kiera R., Penn Athletics

A Palestra Proposal

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

The Penn Band always knows how to keep things interesting at The Palestra. On Saturday, Penn Men’s Basketball fans witnessed a Penn Band marriage proposal during a media timeout. Hurrah for Penn love, and congratulations to the newly engaged couple!

A Penn Band proposal at The Palestra on Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Penn Band proposal at The Palestra on Saturday, March 1, 2014

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Athletics, Campus Life, Events, Penn Basketball, Philadelphia, Stephanie Y., Uncategorized, Volunteering

Penn Men’s Basketball Beats Princeton, 77-74

Author: Stephanie Yee, C08

Spirits were low going into part two of Saturday’s doubleheader after Penn Women’s Basketball’s tragic loss to Princeton, 53 – 84. After two hours of cheering, screaming, and serious heart palpitations, we celebrated the Men’s big victory over Princeton, 77-74. It was a great day to be a Quaker! Join us back in The Palestra this Saturday for College Game Day followed by Penn vs. St. Joe’s at 7 PM.

Penn beats Princeton, 77-74. Go Quakers!

Penn beats Princeton, 77-74. Go Quakers!


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Penn Gymnastics Did What?

By Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

Hanging out at the bar with Carissa Lim, C’16, Penn Varsity Gymnastics team member. You may notice a subtle size differential. (Side note – this is me demonstrating the full extent of my skills on this apparatus.)

Penn Gymnastics will open the season TONIGHT at Hutch! Details in red later in this post.

This past summer I was leaning forward, elbows on my knees, eyes wide, completely unaware of anything but the superhero-like feats of strength and agility executed by the spandex-clad individuals on my television screen during an elite gymnastics competition. This sport has always had this effect on me, as it has on many other fans, partially because the things that gymnasts do are simply not possible. And yet, there they are, doing them anyway.

One particularly tiny athlete on the uneven bars did not need to pike or straddle or otherwise adjust herself quite as much as the others did when swinging around the low bar. It struck me that, if the “tall” gymnasts are 5’4”, and they have to make big adjustments, what would the fantastic gymnastic life have been like for me at 5’9 ½”, hanging from arms that are disproportionately long? I had never seen uneven bars up close, and now I was curious to know how I, quite literally, measured up to them.

Enter Penn Gymnastics Assistant Coach Kimberly Parsons, who opened the doors of the team’s brand new, shiny, spectacular new training facility to me (the Nalitt Family Gymnastics Center was made possible by a gift from Penn gymnastics alumna, and proud Penn parent, Beth (Wasserstein) Nalitt, MD). The facility was dedicated last month at Homecoming 2013, after the team was honored at halftime for winning back to back Eastern conference championships in 2012 and 2013.

Wait, what?

Yes, dear alumni. Penn Gymnastics took first place at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division I Championships twice in a row, which is a first for any school in the Ivy League. Two team members went on to win additional honors at the 2013 USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals.

Go Penn!

Go Penn!

I have to draw attention to this, because, as you know, the University of Pennsylvania does not offer athletic scholarships. When one of our Varsity teams shines as brightly as this, I want the world to know! I mean, check out this hardware. Penn Quakers earned these! I feel the need to high-five someone!

Oh, these? These are just a few of their championship rings.

Oh, these? These are just a few of their championship rings.

You must see some brief clips from the 2013 ECAC Championships this past spring. Seriously. Take a moment to watch these highlights of our Penn athletes dominating the competition on each apparatus.

Now I want you to see them in person so they can hear you cheer. If you are in Philadelphia, come support Penn Gymnastics TONIGHT, Friday, December 6 at 6PM at Hutchinson Gymnasium for the “Philadelphia Jamboree” against Temple University. Their next competition will be the GW Invitational in Washington, DC on Sunday 1/12 at 1PM, followed by one at home on Saturday 1/18 at noon against Illinois State. Check out the full 2013-2014 competition schedule to see when they might be near you so you can show your support wherever you can. And be sure to wear your red & blue! Let them know how proud you are. Mark your calendar for Saturday 3/22 at noon, when Penn Gymnastics will attempt to defend their title at the 2014 ECAC Division I Championships right here in Philadelphia at Temple University.

As for me, here I am grabbing the low bar, from my knees, arms still bent. To be fair, there is a woman on the team who is 5’7” tall, so perhaps there would have been hope for me afterall. And they can adjust the bar height a bit depending on the athlete. Still… let’s just say I’m glad I found the high jump.


For updates, you can follow Penn Gymnastics on YouTube at UPennGym, Twitter @PennGym, and Facebook at Penn Gymnastics. Special thanks to the Penn Gymnastics coaching staff for their hospitality, and I send them my very best wishes for a wonderful 2014 season!


Filed under Athletics, Nicole M.

Up Close and Personal at Away Games

Author: Stephanie Yee, C08

One of the best things about attending Penn Men’s Basketball away games is getting an up close look at the team during the game. This past Saturday, we made the quick trip up to Lafayette College in Easton, PA, to watch the Quakers play. We sat right behind the Penn bench and cheered VERY loudly with the other Penn fans. Join us at the Penn @ Villanova game this Wednesday at 8pm. Let’s bring Quaker Nation to Villanova!


Penn Men’s Basketball pre-game routine at Lafayette College

Penn Men’s Basketball pre-game routine at Lafayette College

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Athletics, Penn Basketball, Stephanie Y.

I’m Coming Home

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

The class flags have been stowed away, the tents have been taken down, and the red and blue balloons have been deflated.  But that isn’t stopping me from blogging about the fantastic weekend that was Homecoming!  Here are some pictures of what I did to celebrate the Red and the Blue:


Counterparts literally kicked off Homecoming weekend with a kickball game against the Penny Loafers, a fellow a cappella group.  We met at High Rise Field and played for about an hour, ending the game in a tie 3-3.  It was so much fun! Who knew we could be artsy AND athletic??


I began the day yet again with Counterparts!  We performed a few songs from our Fall show on College Green as a part of QuakerFest.  Because we were the last a cappella group to sing, we got to lead the crowd in “The Red and the Blue.”  Several CP alumni were there to cheer us on!

After our performance, I ran into several Sigma Kappa girls including Nikki Moorer, a member of the Class of 2016 Class Board.  A bunch of us SK’s and CP’s then decided to watch the Penn-Princeton football game together.  Donning my “Puck Frinceton” t-shirt, I made my way to Franklin Field with the others.  Despite the tough loss, we still had really good time watching our fellow sisters in Penn Cheer, throwing toast, and cheering on our Fighting Quakers!

Later that evening, a bunch of my friends went to the joint Fall show for Glee Club and Penn Dance: “Esspressionage – A Latte of Trouble.”  It was fabulous!  After going through my show a couple weeks ago, I can now appreciate fully the amount of effort that goes into making a production, be it singing, dancing, or theatre.



Sigma Kappa welcomed back our alumni with a brunch at our chapter house!  It was great to see a lot of the girls who graduated last year come out for our special alumni breakfast bagels.  I may or may not have nabbed one with cream cheese and lox!  After such a hectic day before, Sunday morning brunch was certainly a nice, relaxing end to the weekend.  Homecoming is a blast as an undergrad.  While I have no intention of rushing the remainder of my time at Penn, and I can’t wait to experience this special weekend as an alum.  Hurrah Hurrah!

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Filed under Athletics, Campus Life, Carolyn G., Events, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Photos, Student Perspective, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

A Homecoming in Transition

Author: Jonathan Cousins, ENG’14, GEN’14

            It was a fantastic sports weekend.  There were huge crowds at both Franklin Field and the Palestra, and even though both our football and basketball teams were defeated, both games were somewhat competitive and the energy was incredible.  Penn pride was all over campus, as students and Alums came together to bond over festivities and football.

I lost my voice on Saturday (I’m on the right in the picture), exemplified by the dramatic finish to the basketball game against Temple, as Penn pulled ahead with a minute and a half left, only to let the game slip away.  But in that moment where there was little time left and the game on the line, I heard the Palestra as loud as I can remember during my 3+ years here.  And that is something I will never forget.

As I reflect back on it, I had a great time.  There was a barbeque between football and basketball that was a success, we handed out hundreds of “Quaker Nation” shirts, and the basketball team even wore them during warm-ups.  After the game Bill Cosby spoke about family and putting a child through college, and provided a great end to a fun day.

This was my last homecoming as a Penn student.  Among other things this semester (last NSO, last “The Line”) I have been having trouble dealing with the idea that my time at Penn is coming to a close.  But homecoming is different.  This homecoming is a transition year for me, and while it may be my last as a student, I will be a Penn Alum for the rest of my life, and I hope that I will get to make the trip to Philadelphia many more times on November weekends.  This year I was already here, but next year will be my first real chance to come home to Penn.

I am on the right side of the yelling students in the #15 jersey

I am on the right side of the yelling students in the #15 jersey

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Athletics, Campus Life, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Jonathan C.

A Memorable Day at Franklin Field

Author: Jonathan C., ENG’14, GEN’14

One of the great things about sports is that on any given day, you can witness history.  When you walk into a stadium for a game you might see a blowout, a crazy play, overtime or even a record being broken.  This past Saturday was just another day at Franklin Field, a field that has seen its share of history.

Franklin Field


As I walked towards Franklin Field it was a good day for football, with clear skies and 88 degree temperatures that were unexpectedly warm for October.  Penn was opening up its Ivy Title defense at home against Dartmouth during Family Weekend.  As the families arrived at Franklin Field I admired the newly redesigned Penn home blue uniforms and meeting up with my fellow Red and Blue Crew board members in the front row.

The game began and it was back and forth, Penn led by 7 at the half, and as the game wound down it looked like it might come down to the final play.  When Penn got a crucial interception with 3:30 to play it looked good.  But our drive stalled and we missed a long field goal, giving Dartmouth the ball back with 1:30 to play.  They promptly drove down the field and had an opportunity to win the game with a last-second field goal from the 4 yard line.  As they lined up for the kick I sensed that Penn might not defend their Ivy title if they opened the campaign with a last-second loss.  As my anxiety built and Dartmouth lined up for the kick, I was worried.

And the kick was up, and blocked!  Penn had made a game-saving block that would send the game into overtime.  Our sideline was ecstatic, with many a high-five handed out.  In the first overtime Penn was stopped on a fourth and one, and Dartmouth had another opportunity to win the game with a field goal.  The anxiety returned, but they missed the kick!  And the game continued.

football block

In the second overtime Dartmouth went first, and scored a touchdown.  But Penn answered, with quarterback Billy Ragone scrambling for a touchdown on a crucial third and long.  In the third overtime both teams traded field goals, and the game entered a fourth overtime, making it the longest game in Ivy League History.  Dartmouth went first, and missed a field goal, leaving the door open for Penn.  Penn faced a third and long, when third-string running back Kyle Wilcox found some running room on the outside.  As he turned the corner and saw the daylight of the end zone, I couldn’t believe it as he scored the game winning touchdown!football 2

As I walked out of the Franklin Field, physically and emotionally exhausted, I could not believe it.  I had just witnessed the longest Ivy game ever, and we had won!  Even after facing the precipice of defeat multiple times, each time we were able to pull away from the ledge and keep fighting.  Many sports adages are relevant here, such as ‘It’s not over ‘til it’s over.’  That was definitely true in this case, just another game at Franklin Field.

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Athletics, Campus Life, Jonathan C.

Three Things I’m Looking Forward to this September…

Author: Molly Rand, GEd’13

 1)      Penn vs. Delaware Volleyball Match

Penn Volleyball hosts Delaware on Tuesday, September 10 at 7pm in the Palestra.

As a former Delaware Volleyball student-athlete and active UDVB alumna, as well as a prior staff member with Penn Athletics and Penn Volleyball Development, I am very excited to see the Red & Blue take on the Blue & Yellow!

Who will I be rooting for? Let’s just say I’ll be wearing Blue. You have to come to the game to see the rest…

For the full 2013 Season Penn Volleyball Schedule, visit here.

Penn volleyball



2)      Time to Shine NYC and Boston

On September 17 and September 25, I’ll be traveling to NYC and Boston with several Penn colleagues for the Time to Shine Campaign Celebrations. I’m excited to see President Gutmann’s presentation on the Making History Campaign and mingle with many of the wonderful alumni in the region! Don’t forget to visit the Time to Shine website for more information and to register for the event in your local city!

TTS logo

3)      Regional Clubs Team Retreat

On Thursday, September 19, we will be having our first Regional Clubs Team retreat. I’m looking forward to hearing from our featured guest speaker about strategic planning, leadership development, and ways to enhance engagement of alumni volunteers – I’m also excited about the free breakfast and lunch!

Interested in learning more about the Regional Clubs team? Check out our staff page here.

staff retreat (2)

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Athletics, Molly S.