Wednesday, May 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UCD women are primed for Big West play

By
From page B1 | January 04, 2013 |

UCD senior Blair Shinoda watches her opponent during a game earlier this season. The Aggies open their Big West Conference schedule with a Saturday contest at Pacific. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

Just because the UC Davis women’s basketball squad has gotten through the rigors of its nonconference schedule doesn’t mean it’s done playing tough opponents.

Instead, the Aggies (5-6) open Big West play on Saturday at powerful Pacific, one of the league’s chief contenders.

But from dealing with the graduation of five senior standouts to suffering a blowout loss at the hands of Stanford, this UCD squad is used to challenges.

Aggie head coach Jennifer Gross, seemingly unfazed by the hurdles that lie ahead for her local women, is beaming with confidence as the most challenging portion of the 2012-13 campaign nears.

“The thing that excites me most is when I think of where we were at the opening game (Pepperdine), and where we are now,” said the second-year mentor. “We are, hands down, a completely different team.

“Heading into conference, it’s fun to think of having a clean slate, and it being a fresh start. However, I know personally that it’s not back to the beginning for us. We’ve had some huge growth since November.”

Gross’ interpretation of her young squad’s progress was evident to all as UCD ended its holiday break on a three-game winning streak. The Aggies beat Santa Clara, USC and CSU Bakersfield to bounce back from a 2-4 start to the season.

And though UCD’s final nonconference contest was 66-65 overtime loss to rival Sacramento State (6-5) on Sunday at The Nest — with the Hornets scoring the game-winning layup with just 1.2 seconds left — there were more positives from that outing.

Top scorer Sydnee Fipps nabbed her first double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. In addition, the support of the Aggie freshmen — such as Alyson Doherty and Heidi Johnson — almost fetched the Aggies a win.

Senior Blair Shinoda said the UCD newcomers are responding well to their collegiate introduction, and it’s one of the reasons she remains undeterred by the upcoming Big West slate.

“I’m actually really excited to see conference coming up,” Shinoda explained. “Everyone has been working hard. We’re on an upward slope, and we’ve been gaining momentum.

“We lost a tough one versus Sac State, but we’ve learned from it. The intensity that we came out in that match was a great starting point to how hard we’ll need to play for conference.”

Still, a road game against Pacific (10-2) won’t be easy for the Aggies, especially considering that the Tigers finished nonconference play with the most wins since 1984-85, the year they entered the Big West.

Pacific is led by senior Kendall Rodriguez, who recently topped 1,000 career points. The experienced forward has scored in double digits in all but four 2012-13 games.

“They have a lot of experience of their team, and they’re clearly playing like veterans,” Gross said. “This will be a good early test for us. We’re going to have to be on our game, and ready to play our best.”

The Aggies continue their road trip by traveling to Cal Poly (6-5) next Thursday, then to CSU Bakersfield for a nonleague matchup on Jan. 12. Even when UCD comes home, the competition remains tough. The first Big West contest at The Pavilion, on Jan. 17, features Cal State Northridge (6-5), the preseason pick to win the conference.

After that, league newcomer Hawaii (4-7) is the visitor on Jan 19. Looking ahead, Gross expects this unfamiliar opponent to be a formidable one:

“Hawaii brings a big name with them. They’ve had a successful program in the past. They have a new coach, with a new style. We don’t know too much about them. I do know it’s a coach who emphasizes defense, and I have no doubt they will be tough.

“Overall, I’ve been pleased to see how well our conference is doing. We have a number of wins against Pac-12 teams. We’ve made huge strides in our placement, as a conference, and we’re proving the Big West is definitely on the rise.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    New chemistry building in the works at UCD

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    May 11 talk focuses on clean water

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    ‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    ’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Origami lovers will meet at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Breast cancer treatment update offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Health care documentary will screen at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

    By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    New book flows with good news about water

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Injection wells endanger our aquifers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Living with this for 30 years

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis boys dominate first playoff match

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5