Miles Cartwright signs with Dutch basketball team

Sam Sherman Staff Photographer Daily Pennsylvanian

Mile Cartwright had a successful career at Penn, and now looks to take his talents to the Netherlands - Sam Sherman Daily Pennsylvanian

2014 Penn graduate guard Mile Cartwright has signed with Dutch basketball team Aris Leeuwarden, according to his instagram account earlier today.

The news was later made official from the team's website.  The press release (as translated to English) refers to Cartwright's smart play and defensive skills as key reasons for his addition to the roster.

The team is (as the name would suggest) based in the city of Leeuwarden, which is situated in the northern part of the Netherlands.  Founded in 2004, the team is one of the most recent additions to the nine-team Dutch Basketball League.

Earlier in the summer, the Daily Pennsylvanian talked to Cartwright about his plans to play abroad. At the time, Cartwright stated an interest in finding somewhere to play in Western Europe and his recent signing certainly fits that mold.

Cartwright had a successful career as a Quaker, averaging 11.9 points per game and serving as a four-year starter on the wing.

Q&A with former men’s hoops assistant Jason Polykoff

polykoff

Courtesy of Penn Athletics

Daily Pennsylvanian: How would you describe your time on the Penn coaching staff and how that helped you develop as a coach?

Jason Polykoff: It’s hard to say in a few lines all the things that I think I learned from coach Allen and the rest of the coaching staff. As far as tangible items, I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, it was just an invaluable experience to get to coach at a Division-I school in my home town and an Ivy League school with such history. It’s an experience that I would never have passed up in a million years. Even though we didn’t see a ton of success on the scoreboard — because I get that question a lot, would you still have done it? I was fortunate enough to have some success in [the] high school [level]. I say every time in a heartbeat. I would not have passed up that experience for anything.

DP: What was the reasoning behind your move to Earlham?

JP: It was a couple reasons. One, you can only remain an unpaid volunteer assistant for so long. That was part of it, but not at all the biggest reason. I played Division-III basketball and I have a strong connection with the Division-III philosophy. I wouldn’t say it was the ultimate goal when I came to Penn, but it developed into a goal of mine to become a Division-III head coach. Of course, I wanted to run my own program again like I had in high school and this opportunity came about and it presented itself. I applied for it and I got it so I was really excited.

DP: Did any of the events surrounding the team around the time of your departure involving Tony Bagtas, Julian Harrell and Henry Brooks have anything to do with your decision?

JP: No, that was separate.

DP: What was the reaction from the rest of the coaching staff when you told them you were moving on?

JP: They were thrilled for me. I told them a little bit after the season ended that I was interested in becoming a Division-III head coach and they fully supported me in my decision. Coach Allen made a phone call for me to Earlham and said some great things that I can only assume helped my position to get the job. They’re still helpful, still recommending players to me and making connections for me. They were great. Again, it was a win-win because it gave Mike [Lintulahti] an opportunity to step into a role with a little bit more responsibility and a role that we think he’s going to be great in.

DP: What was it like working with Jerome Allen as part of that new staff of assistants he brought in?

JP: It was fantastic. I knew coach Allen before because I coached his son and taught his daughter at Friends’ Central. So I knew him in more of a non-professional setting, so getting an opportunity to coach – as he would say with him, not for him -with him was great. From an Xs and Os stand-point, I learned more than I think I had in the previous six years coaching high school basketball in the two years I was there. He’s a really good person and he really just wants what’s best for the guys at the end of the day. I learned a whole lot.

DP: What’s your relationship like with Coach Pera and Coach Bowman since you went through that same experience together?

JP: I still talk to them every week, if not every other week. Coach Pera keep in contact and see how things are going down in Houston with him at Rice. Coach Bowman and I; he’s still sending me players that might not be good enough for Penn, but might be good enough for Earlham. Checking in on me and all that. I still maintain a really good relationship with those guys.

DP: As we both know, Penn has struggled a lot in the past few years. What do you think about the direction of the Penn program moving forward?

JP: I’ll be honest with you, the one thing that... While I’m really excited about Earlham and taking over the program here, the one thing that I knew I was going to miss and that I know I’m going to regret is the season that they’re about to have. Everything is just falling into place. I think the players that are coming back combined with the players who are coming in is the exact fit and the exact kind of culture that they’re trying to create. These are the guys for it. I really do think they’re going to surprise a lot of people. There’s some people, coming into this season, with a negative outlook or two on Penn basketball because it’s been down the past few years. I really do think this is going to be a great group of guys who are moving in the right direction. I’m going to be upset when I wasn’t there for the ride when they’re on their way to an Ivy League championship. I’m going to be upset that I missed it, but I’m going to be cheering for them every day.

DP: Since you’re now moving away from coaching in the Ivies, what do you think of the balance of power the past few seasons? What do you think Harvard has done the past few years to take that next step forward?

JP: It’s the ebbs and flows of the Ivy League. At one point it was Cornell, for the longest point it was Penn and Princeton. It’s just what’s the flavor of the week, I guess you could say. Right now it’s Harvard, but in my eyes it’s only a matter of time before it’s someone else, and I think it’s going to be Penn. I’m a little biased, but I think it’s going to be Penn. Credit to them and obviously to coach Amaker for what they’ve been able to accomplish, but I truly believe that every program has their time and this has been Harvard’s time.

Valenti falls in SMOY quarterfinals

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Fred David/DP File Photo

It’s been a few years since Matt Valenti’s been in a wrestling tournament, though he’s had plenty of success in them in the past.

But this time it’s a different kind of tournament, one where Valenti’s NCAA Tournament experience – he’s a two-time NCAA champion and three-time All-American – won’t necessarily help him.

Matt Valenti, Penn alumnus and current assistant wrestling coach, advanced to the quarterfinals of voting for the Elite Level Sport Marketing/National Wrestling Coaches Association Social Media Assistant Coach of the Year (SMOY) award.

Valenti ultimately fell short in the quarterfinals to Danny Irwin of Wabash College 1225-1170.

The SMOY award was created during the 2012-2013 season to honor those who make the best use of social media to increase the recognition of their program. The award has categories for head coach, assistant coach and athlete.

In each award category, there is a five round bracket to decide who will be the voter’s champion. While this distinction doesn’t definitively earn one the SMOY award, the efforts shown during the voting process certainly help the case.

Valenti faced tough local competition in the first round as he was matched up against a fellow Philadelphian in Drexel’s Frank Cimato.

However, thanks to avid campaigning and the twitter support of Penn Wrestling and associate director of athletic communications Chas Dorman, Valenti prevailed 425-338.

With the success of the #VoteValenti campaign in day one, Valenti progressed into a round two matchup with 5th-seeded Garett Kiley of Wayland Baptist University.

The two-time NCAA champ came through once again, tallying the second-most votes of the round with 1078. Valenti’s 1078 easily toppled the 900 votes for Kiley, allowing him to advance to the quarterfinals.

Among the best Valenti-related tweets of the first two rounds were references to Valenti being an “ambi-turner and ridiculously good looking” (Zoolander) and the similarity of his face to one of the aliens in Men in Black.

Penn’s Matt Valenti in running for Social Media of the Year award

Penn assistant wrestling coach Matt Valenti has been selected for a bracket to decide the winner of the Social Media of the Year award in the assistant coach category.

https://twitter.com/PennWrestling/status/486180742326939648

Valenti is a Penn alumnus and won the NCAA tournament in the 133 pound weight class in both 2006 and 2007.  His 137 collegiate victories mark the highest total in Penn Wrestling history.

Valenti was brought in as an assistant coach for the team in 2009 and has since coached four NCAA All-Americans, 11 EIWA finalists and two EIWA champions.

Valenti is up against Drexel's Frank Cimato in the first round.  Voting for the first round continues until 9 pm on Monday, while the second round will take place on Tuesday, July 8th.

Vote here: http://www.elitelevelsportmarketing.com/#!smoy-awards-assistant-coach/cndb

Q&A with 2014 Penn basketball recruit Dan Dwyer

Though he won’t hit campus for another few months forward Dan Dwyer is certain to fit into Penn basketball’s plans for 2014 with his floor-spacing shooting. The Daily Pennsylvanian caught up with Dwyer to talk about his recruiting experience, playing style and role within the future of Penn basketball.

Daily Pennyslvanian: What sort of school were you looking for during your recruitment and how did Penn fit that mold?

Dan Dwyer: Throughout my recruitment, I was looking for a good combination of academics and basketball. That’s what I was looking for mostly. My coach was telling me to pick a school that you would love to go to even if you weren’t playing basketball and I felt that with Penn also.

DP: Was there anything during your visits with Penn that led you to commit?

DD: I really loved the coaches when I went there and the city was really cool too. I loved the campus and the coaching staff and meeting all the players.

DP: Were there any coaches in particular who helped lead you to Penn?

DD: Coach Bowman. He came out before the season and then he came out to a couple games and coach Allen came to a game or two at the end of the year. They were watching my games online also.

DP: What was it about those coaches that spoke to you during the recruitment process?

DD: I liked how they were just very encouraging. They had me keep working on stuff. Before the season, I talked to coach Bowman about some stuff and he wanted to see some improvements and they thought I made some adjustments during the year.

DP: What has the coaching staff said to you about your role on the team this year?

DD: I’ve talked to them about it before. They have Darien [Nelson-Henry] holding down the post and they think it’d be a good combination if I can step it out and shoot.

DP: Fran Dougherty and a few of the other forwards who had a large number of minutes last season won’t be on the team next year. How do you see yourself filling into that role in the next few years?

DD: I’ve really been working on rebounding. That’s something that I’ve been taking pride in. I want to really be known as a rebounder and a hustler.

DP: It’s going to be a difficult transition from high school to college basketball, but what do you think you can contribute immediately off the bench next season?

DD: Immediately, I think I can bring some defensive presence in the paint and just help rebound and get some put-backs on offense too. I think I can help out on both sides of the ball.

DP: How would you describe yourself as a player?

DD: I’d say I’m a face-up forward. I usually like to step out and shoot it, but lately I’ve been working on getting more comfortable with my back to the basket and become a more complete player.

DP: How would you describe your senior season and your role on the team during that year?

DD: We had kind of a rocky start. We were missing our best player, who’s going to Northwestern. So the transition was kind of hard. Towards the end, it was me and another big guy on our team and we were putting up a lot of points and a lot of rebounds. We were running a lot of high low action, so I felt like how we did was how the rest of the team would do.

DP: Penn basketball has struggled quite a bit the past few years and some people close to the program are calling for a coaching shift. Did that factor into your decision?

DD: No, I don’t think it really did. I really liked coach Allen on my visit and I hope he can stay. I think it would be great if he does.

DP: Were there any academic areas in particular that stood out to you in high school?

DD: My favorite subject was economics. I really liked that in high school. I might try to minor in Spanish if I’m able to do that. I might try to factor in Spanish with the Wharton degree.

Q&A with 2014 Penn basketball recruit Darnell Foreman

Basketball season may be months away, but the summer is the perfect time to catch up with one of this year’s top recruits, point guard Darnell Foreman. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with Foreman about his choice to come to Penn and how his playing style will fit on the team.

Daily Pennsylvanian: What kind of school were you looking for during your recruitment and how did Penn fit that mold?

Darnell Foreman: Ultimately, I was just looking for a school that was a good fit.  Good opportunities, great coaching staff that was great at getting players better.  A program with a lot of tradition, a winning tradition.  And then, not least, a school with a high standard of academics.

DP: What other schools were you looking at?

DF: Hartford and FDU (Fairleigh Dickinson University) at the end of my high school career.

DP: When did you visit Penn and what did you do during your visit that led you to choose Penn?

DF: I visited the week after my high school visited.  I walked around, toured the campus and talked to the whole coaching staff a lot.

DP:  Which of the coaches have you been in contact with the most?

DF:  I’d say coach Allen.  He came to my state championship game and he got in touch with my family.  Right after that game, we just hit it off right there.  Coach Bowman came to the game after that.  It was a good effort right there.

DP:  What did the coaching staff tell you about how you’re going to fit into Penn basketball next year?

DF: Just to be a leader, work for everything.  There’s a lot of opportunities to just come in and play hard, give it your all and lead these guys.  Whether you’re on the floor, on the bench, you can just be a leader, giving all that 100% effort down there, that toughness.

DP: What sort of skills do you think you can provide immediately off the bench for the team?

DF: Probably my defense, my attitude toward the game.  The intangibles really, you know I really won’t tell what stuff goes on offense until I start working out with the guys.  But my intangibles are going to be shown immediately.

DP:  With the recent release of Tony Bagtas from the program, there’s definitely this need for a point guard of the future.  How do you think you’d be able to fill that sort of role down the road?

DF: Definitely.  It’s an opportunity.  It’s a need right there and I’m willing to step up and take over that role.

DP: How would you describe yourself as a player?

DF: Very hard-working, tough, gritty, defense-first.  On offense, getting into the lane and getting other guys shots, scoring when it calls for it, but overall just being a really tough player.

DP:  Can you describe your senior season and what sort of role you filled during that season?

DF: Well my senior year, I had a lot of guys on my team who had their ups and downs so I had to be the guy who was stable.  I had to lead them when stuff got tough, when we were in tough games I had to step up, knowing that this was my last year.  I had to take over when it called for it, get guys shots when they need it, slap guys on the butt and tell them to keep playing, just being an overall leader.

DP: With Penn’s performance the past few years, a lot of people around the program are calling for a shift in coaching.  Did that potential change in coaching factor into your decision at all?

DF: No not really.  I know coach Allen, he’s a great coach.  He had a couple of struggling years, but he’s a great coach and he’s going to get us back in shape.  He’s the right guy to do it and there’s a lot of good guys in this program, great assistant coaching group.  We have all the pieces to turn this right around.  We’re in the business next year.

DP:  Have you been in contact with any other recruits in your class talking about what it’s going to be like transitioning together?

DF: Yeah, I’ve talked to most of the guys in my class.  Just in general we’re saying as soon as we get here, it’s hard work from the door.  If that means staying in the gym for two to three hours, four hours, we’re going to get this done.  We’re there for each other no matter what happens.

DP: Were there any areas of study in particular that stood out to you during high school?

DF: Not really.  With Penn, that sort of liberal arts school you can come there and find something that you’re going to end up loving.  So I’m just waiting for the opportunity to learn different things and find something new that I can catch on and grow with.

2015 PF Collin McManus commits to Penn Basketball

It's official.  Penn basketball has another member of it's class of 2019.

Collin McManus, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Northfield Mount Hermon High School (Ma.) committed to Penn basketball on Thursday, according to McManus's twitter account.

McManus is a high school and AAU teammate of another 2015 Penn recruit Jackson Donahue, who signed earlier in the offseason.

Northfield Mount Hermon has been a powerhouse feeder for the Ivy League over the past couple years, as documented by the Harvard Crimson.  McManus has spent the past few seasons playing in a strong frontcourt along with fellow Ivy League commit Sem Kroon (Yale 2014) as well as many other D-I prospects.

McManus is the second forward in the recruiting class, joining small forward Jule Brown, and is the fourth member of the class overall.

His size inside should help to fill the void left by departing forwards Fran Dougherty, Cam Gunter and Henry Brooks, along with forward Dan Dwyer, a 2014 recruit.  McManus managed 3.2 ppg and 3.1 rpg as a junior for Northfield Mount Harmon.

The forward had already picked up offers from New Hampshire and Colgate according to Verbal Commits.

 

Q&A with 2015 men’s basketball recruit Jackson Donahue

Courtesy of hooprootz.blogspot.com

Courtesy of hooprootz.blogspot.com

Want to meet another future member of Penn basketball?  Well, rising high school senior Jackson Donahue is just that, with the strong three-point shooter committing to Penn earlier in the spring.  Donahue spoke with the DP about his college decision and his own playing style.

Daily Pennsylvanian: What kind of school were you looking for during your recruitment and where did Penn fit in during your early recruitment?

Jackson Donahue: I was looking for a great program that would allow me to achieve the highest possible academics that I could and be able to play basketball as well. Also I was looking for a program that I could see myself playing in, that I really saw myself being able to have an impact on, whether it be immediately or down the road. But that collectiveness of great aspects was really what I was looking for as well as playing competitive basketball.

And Penn specifically, they’ve actually been recruiting me for the shortest amount of time. [The coaches] were up here in the middle of May. They were the most head strong about [recruiting] and I was very impressed by them and the team in general.

DP: So why did you choose Penn over the other schools on your list?

JD: I chose Penn because when I went on my visit, as soon as everything happened, everything I was hoping to achieve on my visit I did and more. I love the coaches, I love the campus, I love the facilities. The students that I met were great. The faculty that I spoke to were incredible. Some of the players that I met were really great people and it is definitely something I see myself being a part of, which is why I was so excited. The facilities, the Palestra, all the history and the legacies in that building is incredible and it really heightens the experience of the basketball process.

DP: When did you visit Penn? What specifically did you do during your visit?

JD: I visited [May 9] and I came in and I met with one of the assistant coaches right away, coach [Nat] Graham. Coach Graham and coach [Ira] Bowman did a little scenic tour. We went to Penn Park and all the fields. We went into the team facility and the weight room and the academic building with the gym area. And then we met with the rest of the coaches, coach Allen and we toured the Palestra and the rest of the campus. It was a really good overall experience.

And that was something that [I liked] about it too was that all four coaches went on the tour, that was something that had never happened before and I really enjoyed that. [Editor’s note: the fourth coach he was referring to was Mike Lintulahti, who was assistant director of basketball operations last season]

DP: Which of the coaches have you been in contact with the most?

JD: Definitely coach Graham.He was formerly at Boston College. They helped bring my older brother Sam there and I’ve just been hearing from him a lot. He kind of got the ball rolling for me and got the coaches to look at me, so that was a huge aspect to it.

DP: What was it about coach Graham personally that really spoke to you during your recruitment?

JD: Just his sincerity about everything. He’s really straight forward, not a lot of stuff that he’s not being truthful about. He was being real about everything I can achieve there when I get there and everything that I can have when I go to that college. That really spoke to me and I really felt it, his sincerity, and it meant a lot to me.

DP: On visits at other schools, have you felt that other coaches were lying to you or at least embellishing their pitch?

JD: Not lying but stuff that I didn’t feel too strong about. I won’t go into specifics but like I said before, the fact that all four coaches went on the tour was something I never had before. When I visited other schools, I was always with just one assistant or maybe assistants or an assistant and a manager. To have all four of them there and all of them saying the same thing and having the same vibe, that support was just incredible and made it realistic for me.

DP: What did the coaching staff tell you about where you fit into Penn basketball in 2015?

JD: Coach Allen has been telling me that we’re gonna work hard [at Penn] and I am really looking forward to showing the team and the coaches that it is something that I take seriously and just kind of work hard offensively and defensively, whatever they need me to do. I’m really hoping to come in and knock down shots. That’s what I do best. I know it has been a struggle the last few years for them from beyond the arc, so I’m definitely hoping to come in and definitely increase that aspect.

DP: That being said, Penn basketball has struggled mightily in the last two years and a lot of people surrounding the program have been calling for coach Allen’s job. Did the coaching staff’s job security factor into your decision at all, considering you could step on campus in 2015 with a whole new staff?

JD: A couple people asked me about that as well and I try to just live for what is happening now, look at it for the coaches that are there now and try and make the best of the situation. I think that if you spend a couple seasons … coming in with the right mindset, then things can definitely change. Coach Allen is a great coach and it will definitely turn around here in the next couple seasons.

DP: How would you describe yourself as a player and would you compare yourself to anyone?

JD: I love working hard. I love doing all the dirty work, locking down defensively and I like to be the ‘do it’ kind of guy and really just be a great team player. I want to be vocal in every sport I play and try and take a leadership role, help everyone out [to] play like a cohesive unit. Obviously, like I said, my specialty is knocking down shots, knocking down three-pointers. I definitely love working hard on defense because I believe that defense translates into great offense.

 

Q&A with 2015 men’s basketball recruit Jule Brown

Jule Brown (left) committed to Penn basketball. Courtesy of Philly.com

Jule Brown (left) committed to Penn basketball. Courtesy of Philly.com

While the 2014-15 season is far away for Penn basketball, that hasn’t stopped coach Jerome Allen and his staff from peering far into the future. The staff got a commitment a few weeks ago from Lower Merion High School rising senior small forward Jule Brown, a player who many think has strong upside potential. The DP spoke with Brown about his decision to commit to Penn, his playing style and his time at Lower Merion.

Daily Pennsylvanian: What were you looking for during a school during your recruitment and how did Penn ultimately fit that criteria?

Jule Brown: Well first off, I was looking for a school with a great academic makeup and you can’t really go wrong with Penn academic tradition. I was really looking for a school that would push me academically. Second of all, from a basketball standpoint a coaching staff that would push me to be a better player and an even better person.

DP: How did you ultimately come to the decision now, how exactly did it come about?

JB: I was talking to my head coach, coach Downer and I told him that we decided we were going to wait until August to see what else was there. I talked to coach Allen and we’re so similar, we’re from similar backgrounds. I was just talking to him and thinking about all the opportunities that he could provide for me and once I graduate from Penn all the opportunities I could provide for my mother and my grandparents. It was a no-brainer. I didn’t really want to wait. I knew from then that that’s where I wanted to go.

DP: What separated Penn in the process from schools like Columbia and Lafayette that offered you as well?

JB: Location. I wanted my mother and my grandparents to be close, that was a plus. Just the familiarity of it, being a local guy, being the first guy from Lower Merion to [play basketball] at Penn was a great honor. I felt like Penn needed some more local guys and I felt like I could be that guy.

DP: Penn in the past couple years has struggled to pick up wins. Did that factor in, the fact that the program has been struggling recently? And how do you think you can make an impact when you come to campus in a year?

JB: That definitely had an impact. Penn’s always been a great basketball school. I’m a little too young to fully understand it, but I know they’ve always had a great basketball tradition. They’re struggling now, but I wanted to be a part of that turnaround. I really believe in coach Allen and coach Bowman and coach Graham and I really believe they can turn it around.

DP: Which coaches were specifically involved in your recruitment early on?

JB: I’ve known coach Polykoff since I was in eighth grade. He tried to get me to go to Friend’s Central [High School] and then when he arrived at Penn he started to recruit me. I’ve been talking to him a lot. I just met coach Graham a couple weeks ago, so I’m not too familiar with him. It was really coach Polykoff who introduced me to Penn.

DP: Have you visited campus and if you have, what were your impressions of campus and the Palestra?

JB: Well the Palestra speaks for itself, you can’t get better than such a historic site. I’ve been around campus, I’ve been coming around there since I was eight, going to all the Penn basketball camps. So I kind of knew what I was going to get from Penn. I love it, everything about it.

DP: In terms of your relationship with coach Allen, what can you say is your impression of him, as well as coach Graham, coach Bowman and the other coaches?

JB: All three of them are down-to-earth guys, they’re all about family. I really believe that they have my best interests and they can really help me grow as a person and as a player. I really felt connected with them, just in the short time I was there hanging out with those guys I felt at home. I can’t say anything bad about them, they just really blew me away and really made me feel at home.

DP: Can you describe yourself as a player and what your strengths and weaknesses are?

JB: I think I’m a player who is going to play hard every single minute. If things aren’t falling for me offensively, I can help you out in other ways. I can rebound, play defense, take charges. Anything that’s in the best interest of the team, I’m ok with that. I’m a very unselfish player, really about the team growth. I play the team’s growth, sometimes ahead of my personal growth.

DP: One of your teammates also has an offer from Penn, so are you going to be trying to get him to join you?

JB: I’m going to be on him, I really think Penn is a great opportunity, that’s why I took it so early. I think he understands the magnitude of that decision and that Penn can really help him in the future for him and his family, so I’m really going to be pushing hard to get him and other local guys to really consider Penn.

DP: Can you describe Lower Merion’s season and how you performed during this past year?

JB: We came off a state championship run the year before and we lost 10 seniors, which is huge. We only had four returning guys from varsity, so we started off 2-6 and around Christmas time we started to turn it around. We won a huge game against Sanford, and I forget the numbers, but we really turned the season around. We made it to the State quarterfinals and lost to La Salle, but that turnaround during the season was huge for our program. We refused to lose, that was our motto. So we really turned the season around and it was really special.

DP: Academically, what were some of your favorite classes you took this past year?

JB: I’m a big fan of history, history’s my favorite subject so US History was really nice for me. History and English are my favorite subjects.

Softball season in review

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DP File Photo

While Penn ultimately lost that final game and ceded the Ivy title to Dartmouth, coach Leslie King and her team proved that Penn is still a program on the rise and that 2013 was not an anomaly.

With that in mind, here are some of the players and moments that defined the upstart 2014 Penn Quakers.

The Yale sweep: Going into their March 31 matchup with the Elis, the Red and Blue were playing just like a freshmen-laden squad is expected to play, going 4-11 in their first 15 contests. The team had lost seven straight games going into the two-game set at Penn Park and was in desperate need for a turnaround.

So when Penn swept the Elis by identical 3-0 margins, it was a big moment for the team. Junior Alexis Borden and freshman Alexis Sargent each pitched shutouts, combining to give up just nine hits in 14 innings. Sargent also contributed with her bat, hitting two home runs to power the Red and Blue while fellow freshman Leah Allen belted a long ball as well.

Player of the Year — Leah Allen: Penn lost so much talent to graduation that things looked somewhat bleak heading into the year. While Borden, Penn’s all-time leader in wins and strikeouts, was expected to carry the load in the pitching circle once again, there were legitimate questions as to who would hold down the fort on the offensive end.

Allen made all those worries wash away, hitting .383 for the season while setting Penn program records for home runs (13) and runs batted in (43). Allen took home Ivy Rookie of the Year and made Penn’s offense feared within the conference. Moving forward, it should scare everyone in the Ivy League that Allen could get even better during her sophomore year.

Most indispensable — Alexis Borden: Borden proved herself once again, shrugging off early season losses to post another strong season at pitcher. The junior posted 12 wins to go with a 2.26 earned run average. She also pitched every game of the ILCS, winning Game 2 and falling just short in Game 3. Teaming with Sargent, Penn rode both pitchers named Alexis to a strong season.

Player Penn will miss the most — Elysse Gorney: While Penn’s senior class was smaller in 2014 than in 2013, the class still had a large impact, especially thanks to a first-team All-Ivy catcher in Gorney. The senior batted .304 on the year and upped her game in Ivy play, batting .356 during that 20 game stretch to help propel Penn to its third straight Ivy South title.

Gorney was also the Quakers’ captain and her leadership will certainly be missed. Her presence was a noticeable one after spending two years as team captain and the rising senior class will need to find a way to replace her. Penn will also miss seniors Kirsten Johnson and Kayla Dahlerbruch, who was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.