Penn Sports Plus: Penn Sailing

Courtesy of pennsailing.org

Courtesy of pennsailing.org

For this week's Penn Sports Plus, we're all aboard with Penn Sailing captain Jack Swikart as he tells us what his sport is all about.

How does one join Penn Sailing?

Penn Sailing takes new members at the start of both the fall and spring semester, since sailing is a two-season sport. Prior experience is great, but certainly not necessary - in fact most of our new members have little to no experience at all. We always have a booth at the activities fair and a website (pennsailing.org) with contact info for the team if you miss the activities fair.

Where do you practice?

The team practices four or five days a week out of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, which is about 15-20 minutes by carpool from campus. It's an ideal place for sailing since the Delaware River is much wider than the Schuylkill, and gives us the room we need to maneuver.

What's the best moment the team has had?

It's tough to narrow it down to just one moment, but since I joined in the fall of last year, the best moment was beating out Cornell for the final spot in the 2011 Atlantic Coast Championships (the biggest regatta of the fall season). It really felt great to qualify for such a high-caliber event and have something to show for all of our effort that season.

Penn Sports Plus: Quidditch Edition

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Jesse Mao/DP File Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Pennsylvanian was pleased to break out our broom sticks and have a chat with one of the captains of the Penn Quidditch team, Justin Bogart, who breaks down how the game has traveled from the skies down to earth.

Wait, playing quidditch? Don't you need magic?

Bogart: Funny you should ask this. Most people who first hear about quidditch actually wonder a similar thing but their response is usually in the form of ‘but your broom don’t fly’ or something of the like. Here’s a brief history of real-life quidditch or muggle (a muggle is a person that lacks any magical abilities) quidditch as it is typically known. Muggle quidditch was conceived at Middlebury College back in 2005 by Xander Manshel, who adapted the magical sport found in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, for, simply put, gravity. Instead of flying on brooms high above the ground, the seven group of muggles (three chasers, two beaters, a keeper, and a seeker) that comprise a quidditch team run around with brooms between their legs.

To emulate the act of flying, if your broom is removed from between your legs at any moment during the game it is as if you are “falling” from the air and as a result are temporarily “knocked out” until you run back to your sides hoops. However, most people wonder how the snitch, which in the novels is a small magical gold ball with wings that flies over the quidditch pitch, was adapted for our non-magical world. In muggle quidditch, the snitch runner is a cross-country runner who dresses in all yellow and has a sock with a tennis ball (the snitch) velcroed to his shorts. The seekers must then completely remove the sock from the snitch runner’s shorts in order to have ‘snatched the snitch.’

Just how physical and demanding a game is quidditch?

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Liveblog: Penn at Yale

We're live in New Haven as the Penn Quakers take on the Yale Bulldogs, who are fresh off an upset of the then-top ranked Princeton Tigers.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright commits to Arizona

scout.com

scout.com

Miles Cartwright's younger brother, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, has found his new home for the next four years at the University of Arizona.

“As a big brother, I’m really proud. People always say that having a little brother is the closest thing to having a son," Miles said. "Me and my brother were really close and I knew how tough the recruiting process was on him mentally and emotionally. But I’m really happy for him, he’s worked really hard for this and Arizona is a great fit — Sean Miller’s a great coach. They’re going to have a lot of great players there and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities to win championships.”

As reported by ESPN, Arizona and UCLA were the two main contenders for the point guard's talents, but a late push from Gonzaga almost led Jackson-Cartwright to the great northwest. Ultimately, however, Arizona head coach Sean Miller was the deciding factor in leading him to the Copper State.

After visiting Tucson over the weekend, Jackson-Cartwright was ready to make his decision.

“Gonzaga was really right there. They got his interest right away when they offered him," Miles said. "Being on the west coast you watch a lot of WC basketball cause they’re always televised, he thought it was a real possibility but Arizona was obviously the better fit in his eyes.”

Jackson-Cartwright, who stands at 5-foot-9, has averaged 14 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals per game this season for Loyola High of Los Angeles.

Parker showed promise from the beginning, which is why his father Ramon pushed him into a Double Pump Skills basketball camp in Los Angeles helmed by current Penn assistant coach Scott Pera when Parker was just four years old.

ESPN has him ranked as the 30th best prospect in their rankings, and the seventh best point guard in the class of 2014.

While Arizona is not done recruiting, the Wildcats are glad to fill a pressing need at the point guard position, and Jackson-Cartwright was at the top of their wish list.

 

The Swami Speaks: Feb. 22-23 Edition

This is a big weekend in the Ivies, as Cornell must sweep to stay a float and Princeton vies to hold their positioning directly behind Harvard going into the home stretch.

Friday, February 22

Penn (6-18, 3-4 Ivy) at Cornell (13-12, 5-3 Ivy)

Were it not for a 5-seconds violation late in the game at the Palestra, it could be Penn, not Cornell who would have entered into the weekend still in the Ivy race. Cornell has a big match-up against Princeton on Saturday, and could very easily dismiss the Quakers, who hang around and take this one, 66-64, in a game they had no business winning.

Harvard (15-7, 7-1 Ivy) at Brown (9-13, 3-5 Ivy)

This smells like a blowout to me. A sweep would do huge things for Harvard, especially if Princeton falls to Cornell, and this one won't take two overtimes to determine an outcome. Harvard wins big, 75-57.

Princeton (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) at Columbia (10-12, 2-6 Ivy)

Columbia hung around last time, losing by just six, but the Tigers' sense of urgency will be fired up on all cylinders following last week's lost to Harvard. Princeton heats up early, and leaves Columbia in the dust, 68-58.

Dartmouth (6-16, 2-6 Ivy) at Yale (10-15, 4-4 Ivy)

Forget about the fact that Dartmouth won last time these teams faced off. Over the course of the year, we've seen that Yale's not terrible and Dartmouth is. The Elis win, 65-60.

Penn at Columbia

Penn beat Columbia at the Palestra, and while Miles Cartwright won't heat up like he did last time he faced the Lions, the Quakers' defense will come through and limit Columbia's Brian Barbour, just as they did a few weeks ago. It really depends on the outcome of Penn-Cornell, since the Quakers didn't bounce back well from their blowout loss to Harvard, but they take a close one, 60-57.

Princeton at Cornell

The biggest game of the weekend. The Big Red come in playing well, but after facing Yale, Brown and Penn in their last three contests, they haven't seen a team of Princeton's quality in a while. Cornell pushes a little too hard, fails to make its shots, and Princeton wins it, 68-60.

Harvard at Yale

Last time out, the Crimson had a tough time with the Bulldogs, but Harvard has surred up its defense since then, while its youthful offensive prowess only continues to develop. Harvard wins it, 70-60.

Dartmouth at Brown

In what may be the ugliest played basketball game in the Ivy this year, Brown takes it, if only because they're at home. The Bears win, 68-66.

 

Game 22: Brown – The Good, Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

FULL RECAP // BOX SCORE

THE GOOD: Penn's three-point shooting

There was a lot of good to around for the Quakers against the Bears, but the Red and Blue kept throwing dagger after dagger from downtown that ultimately put this one in the bag for most of the second half. Penn shot 60 percent from beyond the arc, while limiting the Bears to an atrocious 2-for-18 from downtown.

Junior Miles Cartwright, who broke his career high in points with 28 (previously 27), did so predominantly with the three ball. He went 9-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-6 from three.

THE BAD: Brown's stamina

There was an eerie feeling on press row, right around 6:40, when Brown came out to warm up. And after watching the second half unfold as it did, with Penn outscoring the Bears, 45-23, the DP's resident ghostbuster has determined the cause. Brown came with just nine players, and two of them only played a total of six minutes. Thus, Brown ran essentially a seven-man rotation the entire night. While this worked out fine in the first half, Penn was eventually able to crank the tempo up and run the few bodies that the Bears had out of the Palestra and back into the snowstorm from whence they came.

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Over/Under – Cornell Edition

OverUnder10 points for Fran Dougherty – UNDER

Fran won’t see significantly more minutes just a day after returning to the floor, which is bad news for his point totals. Doc will need to get into a rhythm as the season goes on, but he’ll also have to do it, at least for now, in limited minutes. He looked off, with a lot of the shots that were falling consistently for him in the early part of the season just rimming out on Friday.

10 minutes for Jamal Lewis – UNDER

I’m thinking with my heart more than my head here, because unless you turn in a performance like Lewis did on Friday (two turnovers, three personal fouls) in the seven minutes of playing time that he received against the Lions, it’s hard not to get at least 10 minutes on the floor when you’re the team’s starting point guard.

But Tony Hicks was passing rather effectively last night, even though some opportunities didn’t get converted, and if Jerome Allen pulls Lewis out of the starting five, he won’t get 10 minutes on the court.

10 assists for the Quakers – OVER

Last night was pretty pathetic from a passing perspective, as the Quakers only had six assists the entire night. That won’t be good enough as they go into the rest of the Ivy schedule, and I think they can amend their issues.

Darien Nelson-Henry is getting better every game, and the better that he gets, the more attention that will be focused on him, thus allowing openings around the perimeter, and space for guards to drive and dish.

FIve offensive rebounds for the Quakers – OVER

Last night’s abysmal performance on the boards won’t be repeated again. While Fran is still finding his shooting touch, his timing on the defensive end last night wasn’t terrible, and it’s bound to improve going forward.

Five blocks combined for Dougherty and Nelson-Henry – Under

Last night, Fran and DNH both had monster blocks that really helped Penn maintain momentum going forward. The chances of that happening again this season are relatively low, which is a shame for fans. While DNH has surged on the offensive end of the floor, defensively he has struggled at times, so being able to see him rise up and almost throw one out of bounds should give fans hope, but their combined five blocks last night was a fluke more than anything.

Penn Sports Plus: Women’s Ice Hockey Edition

posterThis week, we feature the one of the captains of the women's ice hockey team at Penn, Alyssa Eng, who takes us onto the ice and into her sport.
What drew you to women's hockey?
Eng: I played a little bit of pond hockey growing up, and always loved it though I never got into organized hockey. When I came to college I thought it would be a lot of fun to pick up. It's just a fun game, and I love skating.
How similar is it to the men's game?
Eng: Women's hockey, like many other sports with men's and women's teams, holds variations but are basically the same game at heart. I suppose the biggest one would be that there is no checking in women's hockey.
This year, the team has done very well, while last year was another story, when you played Division 1. Is the drop off of talent that big between D1 and D2, or has the team gotten significantly better since last year?
Eng: Our team has improved a lot this year, due to a great group of talented
girls who joined this year, in addition to building on a great team chemistry we had last year. Our team is very close, and I think that friendship helps us when we play. In addition, our team expanded from about 12 girls last year to about 24 this year, with many who had played throughout high school, though we did take beginners. This means we can field a full team every game, with many experienced players.
Two years ago we were in the D1 and did poorly, due to the size of the team being about 10 girls and without an experienced goalie. Last year we moved down to D2 and came in second, so we are always improving. I wouldn't say that the talent level is a huge drop off between the divisions, I mean there is a step up, but the schools in the D1 have more consistant hockey programs in terms of their size and talent. We are thinking of joining the D1 for next year as we now have the numbers and experience.
Walk us through a typical practice. What types of drills do you do? How exhausting is practice?
Eng: We practice twice a week. Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. We get out, stretch, do skating drills to warm up, warm up our goalies, and start to do drills, scrimmages, and games to fill the rest of practice. Each practice is different based on what the coaches think we should work on. Some days we focus more on breakout drills, others on shooting drills, and others on passing drills. I wouldn't ever call it exhausting, we try to keep in shape. Some practices are more intense than others. One of our coaches likes to skate us a lot more, but it's always a nice workout.
What's the best moment that you remember happening while you were on the team?
Eng: On ice, I would say when we beat Rutgers for the first time this year. It was an intense game, and it was very close for the first two periods. They were kind of our rivals from last year, and we lost to them in the finals, so it was great to get a win this year. Off ice, one of the girls on the team got a puppy this year, and she came to one of our games as our team mascot. It was amazing.
Finally, what would you say to someone who thinks hockey is just for guys?

Eng: I would say they should come to a practice and try it out! Assuming they were a girl of course. And in the wise words of the Spice Girls: Hi cee ya hold tight. Girl power. Zig a zig ahhh. Hockey is a great sport and so much fun to play. It really is for everyone.

Penn Sports Plus: Curling Edition

Curling at BGSU

This week, we feature Penn Curling Club President Elizabeth Shay, who breaks out the brooms and breaks down curling.

How did the curling club get started, and what does it consist of currently?

Shay: The curling club started a little over 10 years ago because there were students who had curled while growing up and wanted to continue the sport. Currently, we have about 10 people that show up consistently to practices as well as several others that stop in occasionally. Most of us never curled before college.

Why curling? It's not a sport that is on most American radars except during the Olympics.
Shay: Curling is a really fun sport that is easy enough to pick up that you can play a game in your first practice, but challenging enough that you can continue to improve your skills for the rest of your life.

Over/Under: St. Joe’s Edition

OverUnderPenn scoring 60 points: UNDER

The Hawks hold opponents to around 65 points per game, and the Quakers are not up to the quality of opponent that the Hawks have faced this season. St. Joe's faced off against Harvard early in the year and held the Crimson to 56 points in a 19-point victory, and no disrespect to the Red and Blue, but if Harvard had trouble putting up points, then odds are the Quakers will as well.

10 points per game for Tony Hicks: OVER

I think that, among other things, that this season hinges upon Tony Hicks' ability to put points on the board for the Quakers. If he finishes the year putting up 10 points per game, then the Quakers may be able to hang around in the Ivy League race.

Maybe it's my heart speaking and not my head, but I think he can do it. He's shown more aggressiveness of late, and anyone who has seen this team play knows that's what the Red and Blue need more than anything. I'm not saying that this will let the Quakers win the Ivy or anything, just that it will be a little more interesting.

10 minutes each for Dau Jok and PLP: OVER

Again, speaking with my heart rather than my head. Patrick Lucas-Perry isn't the biggest guy on the already-small Quakers, but he is what they need on offense. His shooting from the outside has kept Penn potent on offense when he's on the floor. His last second shot against NJIT gave the Quakers a much need win, and they have to at least give him more minutes and see what he can do.

The same goes for Dau Jok. His shooting number are on par with starter Steve Rennard's, but Jok gives the Quakers more than just the three-ball. His ability to rebound is something the Quakers need, and something that Rennard just can't give them.

Darien Nelson-Henry getting 10 rebounds: UNDER

Darien Nelson-Henry is going to be a force in the Ivy League for a long time, but he's not quite there yet on the defensive end. While he was able to rebound against NJIT, he'll have more difficulty against the larger Hawks.

He averages 8.28 rebounds per 40 minutes in general, and that number is inflated by the type of competition the Quakers have played in which Nelson-Henry has received a large quantity of minutes (Wagner, NJIT). It's no disrespect to Nelson-Henry. It's just a learning process.

A five-point loss for Penn: OVER

This one won't be close, folks. St. Joe's has played a tough schedule, and while they haven't won all of their games, the scores can been close. Two days ago, they went to overtime against a strong VCU team, beat Notre Dame at the start of the season, and have handled two Ivy League opponents that have played significantly better than Penn has this season.