YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Aggies

Basketball fans are missing an Aggie treat

By November 18, 2010

Enterprise columnist

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You are sooo missing the best ticket in town.

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Only 785 of you watched the UC Davis women\’s basketball team lay waste to visiting Washington State on Sunday. If you were there, you\’ll share my delight in knowing something which 60,000 local residents are in the dark about — the Aggies have one of the nation\’s most entertaining squads.

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After blowouts against the University of San Francisco and that poor Pac-10 school, College

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Insider\’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll has our women ranked 24th in the land.

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Yeah, that\’s nice, but I promise, this is an Aggie team headed for bigger things than being considered good against the smaller teams. Call me when the Associated Press notices our women.

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Remember, led by post whiz Paige Mintun, UCD almost made it into the NCAA Big Dance a year ago. Losing to UC Riverside in the Big West final (a game every single Aggie will remember when they visit the Highlanders on Jan. 27), UCD was bounced over to the women\’s National Invitational Tournament.

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Losing a first-round game in overtime to California, that\’s another game Mintun and Company probably want back. Afterwards, we watched the Golden Bears win the dang tourney. I still hear the Aggies mumbling, “It shoulda been us.”

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Before you go pooh-poohing my enthusiasm, wait one weekend. Tonight, the Aggies are at Pepperdine (KDVS, 90.3 FM at 7 p.m.). The Waves (1-1) are a rugged West Coast Conference team that carded a 20-12 mark last winter.

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Then Sunday it\’s off to UCLA (2 p.m., also on radio).

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“We\’ll know something about where we stand,” Aggie head coach Sandy Simpson said earlier in week, looking ahead to the Southern California trip.

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No kidding. The Bruins were 26-9 and, under former Pat Summitt assistant Nikki Caldwell, love to pound the ball inside.

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But guess what? This Mid-Major surprise package we have out at The Pavilion has some answers.

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Go ahead, make their day. Go

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inside. Hello, Paige. Hiya Vicky Deely. UCLA, meet Lauren Juric and Kasey Riecks.

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No, I\’m not sayin\’ UCD is gonna beat the Bruins, or even Pepperdine. Just trying to warm up you no-shows. Follow these two games. Get excited as Hana Asano flies across the floor

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in pursuit of the bad pass forced by Samantha Meggison. Listen as Mintun spins and provides the

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cutting Riecks with another lay-up opportunity.

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Be very excited by the prospect of University of Utah transfer guard Hannah Stephens, the inside play of Corona freshman Kelsey Beard and the perimeter talent of Israeli freshman, 20-year-old Idit Oryon.

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These are your Aggies. As talented a group of women as we\’ve ever seen at UCD.

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Once you know that they\’ve given it their best shot on this Made-for-Prime Time road trip (don\’t be surprised if they go 1-1), join me in welcoming them home Nov. 26 against Yale. If you like what you see, come back for South Carolina (Nov. 28) and St. Mary\’s (Dec. 1).

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By then, you\’ll be used to Aggie Fever, for which — this year — there may not be a cure.

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While I Have You Here: Teddy Nicholson, one in a long list of Davis High water polo players with terrific college credentials, got his university passport stamped early.

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Helping the Aggies go 13-1 in conference, Nicholson has been named to the WWPA All-Freshman team. In fact, the Western Water Polo Association Championships start today with the locals as the No. 2 seed in Santa Clara.

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Nicholson was UCD\’s backup center, but still managed 179 minutes in 20 games.

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In addition to the ex-Blue Devil\’s honor, Aggie head coach Steve Doten was named co-coach of the year, and utility man Carlos Martinez and center Aaron Salit were first-team honorees from UCD.

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Knowing that more than a dozen Davis High male and female water polo players made All-CIF honors this fall — this after the girls won the section title with the guys finishing second — it\’s not surprising Nicholson has been able to step right in.

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He has a good pedigree.

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— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or (530) 747-8047. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

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