LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The nationally ranked UC San Diego women's basketball program has signed two high school seniors to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Charity Elliott
announced on Monday.
Leeann Alferness, a 6-0 center from Novato, and Taylor Hirz, a 6-2 center from Santa Ana, will join the Tritons as true freshmen in 2012-13.
"We are thrilled to welcome Leeann and Taylor into the Triton family," Elliott, now in her fifth season with the program, said. "They are both going to have huge careers here at UCSD and help us continue to compete on a national level. Christmas came a bit early for the Tritons this year and we are so pleased that these two incredible young women will be joining our program."
Alferness is in her senior year at San Marin High School in Novato, where she was a four-year varsity starter for the Mustangs. After being named to the All-Marin County Athletic League Second Team as a sophomore, she went on to lead the MCAL in both scoring and rebounding as a junior, averaging 16.4 points and 10.6 boards. She was named the Most Valuable Player on her team at the end of the season.
Alferness is also a standout in the classroom, earning San Marin Scholar Athlete accolades in each of her first three years at the school.
"We found out about Leeann a little late in the process, but once we got to know her and watch her play, we knew right away that she would be a great fit here at UCSD," Elliott continued. "She is a fierce competitor, is ferocious on the boards and finds a way to be in the right place at the right time. We couldn't be more excited about Leeann joining us."
Hirz was an instrumental part of a Foothill High School squad that finished second in the Century League and advanced to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs last season. She also competes with the Cal Swish Club Team, which is one of the top AAU squads in Southern California.
Hirz is an excellent student as well, earning three consecutive Scholar Athlete Awards for posting a GPA of 4.1 or above at FHS.
"Taylor comes from a fantastic high school and club program and is a great athlete with tremendous length," Elliott added. "She's very fundamental, has nice post moves and can run the floor. She has a ton of upside and is going to do great things as a Triton. She's a perfect fit for our program, both academically and athletically."
After defeating Hawaii Pacific and Hawaii Hilo to capture the UHH Vulcan Classic crown over the weekend, the Tritons will make their first home appearance of the 2011-12 season when they host the UCSD Thanksgiving Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Tritons will take on Cal State San Marcos on Friday, before squaring off with Fort Lewis College on Saturday. Both contests will tip off at 7:00 p.m. at RIMAC Arena on campus.