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!
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.
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.
And then we bumped into the Quaker!
We were excited to see that the Penn Band and Penn Cheer made the trip to Los Angeles too.
Soon, the players were being announced and the game was underway.
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.
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
“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
“It was wonderful to rekindle the Penn spirit and sing all the great Penn songs!” ~JodiLynne Bayrd Steiner, W’93
~Jordan Rockwell, C’00