SAN DIEGO - University of California San Diego standout student-athletes Mikayla Williams and Tanner Syftestad were announced last Friday afternoon, Feb. 9, as San Diego Hall of Champions (SDHOC) Stars of the Month for the month of January.
A redshirt sophomore forward on the UC San Diego women's basketball team, Williams shot 54 percent from the field and averaged 17.0 points and 9.6 rebounds, leading the first-place Tritons to a 6-1 record in January. The native of Meath Park, Saskatchewan, Canada, scored a career-high 24 points with eight rebounds in a Jan. 23 home victory over Cal State San Marcos, 86-66, and posted two doubles-doubles. Williams had at least 13 points and seven rebounds in all seven games in January, and added totals of seven blocked shots, six steals and six assists. With results on Feb. 10, UC San Diego clinched its third consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association regular-season title outright. The Tritons still have four league contests remaining.
Syftestad is a senior opposite hitter and tri-captain on the men's volleyball squad. The Sacramento product averaged 5.19 kills and 6.19 points per set, leading the nation in both categories, in directing his Tritons to the first 7-2 start in the program's 30th season. He produced double-figure kills in eight of those nine contests, the lone exception being a home sweep over UC Merced in which he only played part of the first set. Syftestad had five matches with 20-plus kills, including three in a row from Jan. 20-27, and two with a season-high 27. He led all players in kills in seven of January's nine matches. Having entered his fourth and final year as a Triton with one career double-double, Syftestad turned in two last month. On Feb. 3 against Stanford, he became just the sixth player in program history to reach the 1000-kill milestone.
Each month, the San Diego Hall of Champions honors as many as four professional, six amateur and six high school athletes as Stars of the Month for their outstanding athletic accomplishments. Stars of the Month are recognized in the San Diego Union-Tribune, via the Hall of Champions' app, social media channels and website, and at the annual Salute to the Champions awards dinner. Top-performing Stars of the Month can also earn Star of the Year accolades. Those considered are either from San Diego, or have achieved stardom for local teams.
Williams and Syftestad are the first two Tritons to be named a San Diego Hall of Champions Star of the Month for the 2018 calendar year:
• Mikayla Williams, women's basketball (January)
• Tanner Syftestad, men's volleyball (January)
ABOUT THE HALL OF CHAMPIONS
The "Hall" is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating outstanding local athletic achievement and providing sports programming for the community. The Hall was launched by the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, which was founded in 1946 by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic achievement in San Diego. Through its awards and recognition programs, and vigilant focus on the community of San Diego and its betterment, the Hall is devoted to motivating and inspiring youth of all ages to reach their full potential. For more information, please visit www.sdhoc.com.