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New Champions in Basketball
This year, it was the women’s turn to bring the Ivy title to Penn.
By Noel Hynd

 

When the Quakers women’s basketball team recovered from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the Princeton Tigresses, 78-69, on March 7 in Philadelphia, the win finished off a spectacular and unprecedented season.
    The team won its first Ivy League championship and became only the second women’s basketball team in Ivy history to go undefeated during the regular season since the league expanded to a 14-game schedule in 1982-83. The win also extended Penn’s program-record winning streak, which was then at 21 games. Penn’s 22 wins for the season were the most ever in program history, and the first time the team had reached the 20-victory mark. The Quakers also posted their first back-to-back winning seasons since the 1980-81 and 1981-82 campaigns.

A year of firsts and mosts: The women’s team scored its first Ivy title and most wins in a season; senior co-captain Diana Caramonica (No. 23) became the Ivy women’s all-time leading scorer with 2,415 points; Coach Kelly Greenberg (in hug) has a 40-16 record in her two seasons at Penn.

    All of this was in addition to what these Quakers had already accomplished. Now they have forced me to write an article in which I overuse the word first.
    Previously, with a 62-57 victory over the Crimson at Harvard on February 24, the Quakers became the first Penn team to finish first in the Ivy League. In turn, they received Penn’s first-ever berth in the Women’s NCAA Tournament. At the time of the Cambridge victory, they were the also first team in the nation to secure a spot in the field of 64.
    Even though the Red and Blue suffered a first-round exit in their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance against Texas Tech on March 16, their accomplishments will be remembered forever, and immortalized with the raising of the program’s first-ever Ivy League championship banner in the rafters of the Palestra next season.
    Three months earlier, all of this had seemed an unlikely dream as the Quakers’ season was slowly slipping into the nearby Schuylkill. A 61-52 loss at the Palestra to Villanova on December 12 had dropped the Red and Blue’s overall record to 1-5, as Penn prepared for a 16-day hiatus. But when the team returned from the Christmas break, they began the most remarkable run in the program’s history, reeling off the aforesaid 21-straight victories. Along the way, Penn swept a six-game road trip at the beginning of the streak, overcame halftime deficits five times and outscored its opponents by a margin of 10.6 points per game.
    Second-year Head Coach Kelly Greenberg has now led the Quakers to a 40-16 record the last two seasons, with a then-program record 18 wins last year before this year’s overall record of 22-6. The team’s senior co-captains, Diana Caramanico and Erin Ladley, who finished one and two in scoring for the Quakers, were unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections.
    For the third-straight season, Caramanico was named the Ivy League’s Player of the Year, leading in scoring (21.7 pts) and rebounding (10) per game. Appropriately, she secured her place as the all-time leading scorer in the Ivy League in the Quaker’s title-clinching game against Harvard on February 24. With a career total of 2,415 points, she is the Big Five’s all-time leading female scorer, and the first Penn player to score more than 2,000 career points. She is also the first player in program history to exceed 1,000 career rebounds, with a total of 1,207; the leader in steals, with 210; and a mere second in blocks, with 114.
    Ladley received her first All-Ivy mention after posting career numbers in scoring (13 ppg), rebounding (4.6 rpg) and assists (4.5 assists per game) this season. She led the Ivy League in assists and became the 13th player in program history to score 1,000 career points—also in the Ivy title victory over Harvard. All-time, she is 10th in scoring for the Quakers, with 1,051 points; her 403 assists places her third in program history.
    Junior forward Julie Epton also earned second-team All-Ivy honors, while freshman guard Jewel Clark was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team.
    Without question, the 2000-01 campaign was one for the record books. Hearty congratulations to all involved.
    What’s the nicest way to say men’s basketball didn’t do quite as well?
    Technically, the men’s team fell just one game short of their third consecutive Ivy League title after losing to Princeton, 68-52, at Jadwin on March 6. The Quakers went into the game needing a win to clinch a share of the 2001 Ivy trophy, and to force a playoff game with Princeton to represent the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament.
    But the Quakers finished their season with a 12-17 overall record and a 9-5 Ivy League mark, numbers that can only be termed subpar by recent Penn hoop standards. Penn finished tied for second with Brown University, a statement that I don’t remember ever making in the past. The Quakers got off to a slow start to the 2000-01 campaign, going 0-8 to open the season, and, in many ways, never fully recovered.
    There were some bright notes, however. Two Penn season records fell during the final game of the regular season against Princeton. Sophomore Dave Klatsky surpassed Jerome Allen’s single-season assists mark of 160 and now holds the record at 162. Also, the 2000-01 Penn team tied the single season three-pointers-made record with 223. Senior Lamar Plummer had already broken the season three-pointer record against Yale on March 3, and finished his final campaign with the Red and Blue in the top spot with 96. Plummer also finished the season as only the third player in Ivy League history to record more than 95 three-pointers in a season, and finished number two in the Ivy League.
    Plummer was also honored by the Ivy League coaches as a member of the All-Ivy League first team after finishing his final season averaging 13.1 points per Ivy game (eighth) and was first in the conference in threes made per game with 2.64. Senior Geoff Owens and sophomore Ugonna Onyekwe were each honored on the All-Ivy League second team for their performances in Ivy play this past season.
    Penn athletes gave outstanding performances in other winter sports, too:
    Fencing: When the Ivy League announced the 2001 All-Ivy selections for fencing at the conclusion of the recent season, honors fell upon seven of Penn’s duelists, with seniors Yaron Roth (foil) and Charles Hamann (epee) collecting first-team nods. The Quakers concluded their season with a seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships and a share of the Ivy League Championship for the men’s team.
    Wrestling: All 10 starters on the 2000-01 Pennsylvania wrestling squad earned All-Ivy honors with senior co-captain Mike Fickell capturing Ivy League Wrestler of the Year and First team All-Ivy honors. Freshman standout Mason Lenhard was named Co-Rookie of the Year with Harvard freshman Jesse Jantzen.
    Gymnastics: Freshman Anna Wilson and senior Jenn Capasso were both named First Team All-ECAC for their outstanding performances this season. Wilson captured the 2001 ECAC All-Around title with a Penn-record 39.225, and also won the floor exercise and the uneven bars. Capasso finished fourth on the balance beam and sixth in the All-Around for the Quakers.
    Squash: The Women’s Intercollegiate Squash Association named four Penn women squash players as All-American honorees earlier this week, with two taking first-team honors. Sophomore Runa Reta received first-team honors for the second year and senior Helen Bamber joined her for the first time on that list. The Quakers finished with an 8-4 record.

Noel Hynd C’70 writes on sports for the Gazette.


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Copyright 2001 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 5/2/01

SCOREBOARD

FEB. 3 - APR. 1

Men’s Basketball (12-17)
Villanova 80, Penn 51
Harvard 77, Penn 62
Penn 75, Dartmouth 62
Princeton 67, Penn 53
Penn 59, Cornell 57
Columbia 69, Penn 57
Penn 54, Dartmouth 46
Penn 70, Harvard 47
Brown 85, Penn 77
Penn 63, Yale 38

Women’s Basketball (22-6)
Penn 77, Brown 72
Penn 65, Harvard 51
Penn 81, Dartmouth 75
Penn 71, Princeton 57
Penn 59, Cornell 54
Penn 64, Columbia 53
Penn 59, Dartmouth 55
Penn 62, Harvard 57
Penn 79, Brown 53
Penn 70, Yale 73
Penn 78, Princeton 69
Texas Tech 100, Penn 57

Men’s Fencing (11-4)
Penn 15, Princeton 12
Penn State Multi-Meet 0-2
IFAs, 4th Place

Women’s Fencing (12-6)
Temple 15, Penn 12
Penn 15, Princeton 12
Penn State Multi-Meet 3-1
IFAs, 4th Place

Gymnastics (8-3)
Penn 187.650, Temple 186.500
Penn 184.950, Ursinus 179.600
Towson Invitational, 4th Place
Ivy Championships, 2nd Place
Penn 188.5, West Chester 181.95
Air Force 194.325, Penn 189.50
Penn 189.50, Centenary 187.875
Air Force 194.325, Penn 190.575
Penn 190.575, Centenary 189.875
ECACs, 4th Place

Men’s Indoor Track
Heptagonals, 2nd Place

Women’s Indoor Track
Heptagonals, 8th Place

Men’s Squash (10-8)
Harvard 9, Penn 0
Dartmouth 7, Penn 2
Team Championships, 2nd Place

Women’s Squash (7-4)
Harvard 5, Penn 4
Penn 7, Dartmouth 2
Howe Cup, 4th Place

Men’s Swimming (7-4)
Harvard 198, Penn 86
EISLs, 9th Place

Women’s Swimming (7-4)
Ivy Championships, 6th Place

Wrestling (6-7)
Arizona State 25, Penn 13
Penn 34, Princeton 6
Lehigh 21, Penn 18
EIWA, 2nd Place

Baseball (12-6)
Penn 4, St. Mary’s 2
Penn 6, St. Mary’s 4
Eckerd 2, Penn 1
Eckerd 11, Penn 10
Penn 5, Eckerd 2
Penn 15, Rollins 4
Penn 6, Fordham 4
Penn 6, Northern Ill. 1
Bethune Cookman 13, Penn 5
Penn 13, West Chester 5
Penn 7, West Chester 2
Penn 6, Lehigh 5
Penn 7, Lehigh 3
Penn 17, Lafayette 8
Dartmouth 5, Penn 2
Dartmouth 16, Penn 1
Penn 14, Harvard 2
Harvard 2, Penn 3

Women’s Crew
Navy and Georgetown, 1st Place

Men’s Lacrosse (3-3)
Notre Dame 10, Penn 8
Penn 11, Bucknell 3
Yale 13, Penn 8
Penn 15, Lafayette 9
Penn 10, Harvard 9
Cornell 10, Penn 9

Women’s Lacrosse (3-5)
William & Mary 9, Penn 0
Penn 12, La Salle 7
Old Dominion 7, Penn 3
Yale 10, Penn 2
Penn 11, Villanova 6
Cornell 10, Penn 5
Lafayette 9, Penn 6
Penn 13, Columbia 5
Penn 12, Monmouth 3

Softball (9-14)
Siena 6, Penn 4
Penn 1, Providence 0
Butler 12, Penn 4
Penn 4, Columbia 1
Maine 8, Penn 5
Dayton 3, Penn 0
Wisc.-Green Bay 7, Penn 3
IUPUI 13, Penn 2
Tennessee Tech 4, Penn 0
Canisius 6, Penn 5
Ill.-Chicago 5, Penn 3
Penn 8, St. Francis (N.Y.) 0
Penn 7, Liberty 3
Canisius 4, Penn 1
Penn 4, Lafayette 0
Penn 3, Lafayette 2
Temple 3, Penn 0
Temple 5, Penn 0
Penn 7, La Salle 5
Rider 5, Penn 2
Penn 2, Rider 1
Army 8, Penn 4
Penn 6, Army 3

Men’s Tennis (7-5)
Penn 6, Colgate 1
Minnesota 6, Penn 1
Kansas 6, Penn 1
New Mexico 5, Penn 2
Penn 6, Richmond 1
Penn 7, Swarthmore 0
Penn 7, Haverford 0
Fla. Gulf Coast 5, Penn 4
East Tennessee 5, Penn 1
Penn 5, Fla. Southern 4
Penn 7, Temple 0
Penn 5, Army 2

Women’s Tennis (10-6)
Penn 7, Army 0
Virginia 4, Penn 3
Penn 7, Drexel 0
Penn State 5, Penn 2
Eastern Mich. 5, Penn 2
Tulane 4, Penn 3
Penn 5, Richmond 2
Penn 5, American 2
Penn 6, Princeton 1
Va. Commonwealth 6, Penn 1