Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Senior guard Kayla Sato and the Tritons are set for two road tests this week.

No. 4 Tritons Set for Big Tests This Week at Chico State, Humboldt State

UC San Diego

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LA JOLLA, Calif. — Things don't get any easier for the No. 4 University of California San Diego women's basketball team this week.

UC San Diego (15-0, 11-0) is set for a tough road trip, as the Tritons head to Northern California for contests against Chico State on Thursday, Jan. 24 and Humboldt State on Saturday, Jan. 26. Both games will be streamed live and will have live radio broadcasts.

In addition, this week features matchups against two teams the Tritons faced during last season's California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament, and are looking for redemption after suffering losses earlier this season at RIMAC Arena.

"This is a very challenging road trip," said UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "Chico State plays extremely hard, is very disciplined and they haven't lost at home. Humboldt State will play very hard and it's a tough place to play.

"It will be another opportunity for our team to step up and improve."

UC San Diego is coming off one of its most thrilling games of the season, rallying from behind 14 points at halftime to earn a double-overtime victory against Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 19. Junior forward Mikayla Williams had a memorable performance, scoring 24 points along with career-highs of 18 rebounds and six blocks.

The Meath Park, Sask., native scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting during the fourth quarter and two overtime periods alone, while senior guard Kayla Sato scored 20 points in her first home game of the season.

The Tritons held the Cougars to just four points in the third quarter, outscoring Cal State San Marcos 30-16 during the third and fourth periods combined.

"We dug ourselves a hole and worked really hard to get out of it," said VanDerveer. "I was very pleased with how we responded at halftime, executed offensively and got quality defensive stops.

"Coming back and winning is better than the alternative, but we showed good character and I'm proud of our team for that."

Following this weekend's road trip, the Tritons return home for a Spirit Night matchup at RIMAC Arena against Stanislaus State on Thursday, Jan. 31, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


Game 16
at Chico State (10-4, 7-3 CCAA)
Thursday, Jan. 24 • 5:30 p.m.
Acker Gymnasium • Chico 
Watch • Listen • Live Stats • Tickets

Game 17
at Humboldt State (10-4, 7-3 CCAA)
Saturday, Jan. 26 • 5:30 p.m.
Lumberjack Arena • Arcata 
Watch • Listen •  Live Stats • Tickets


Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Overall: 15-0 
• CCAA: 11-0 
• Home: 6-0 
• Away: 6-0
• Neutral: 3-0 
• Highest National Ranking (WBCA): 4th
• Against Nationally-Ranked Teams: -
• WBCA Coaches Poll (Jan. 22) : 4th
• D2SIDA Media National Poll (Jan. 22): 
• D2SIDA Media West Region Poll (Jan. 21): 2nd 
• CCAA Standings: 1st


The 2019 edition of the most anticipated hoops date of the season, Spirit Night, happens on Thursday, Jan. 31. RIMAC Arena will be packed to the rafters. There will be a free all-student tailgate, competitions, giveaways, free food, and more surrounding the doubleheader. Come out, show your Triton Spirit, and Paint the Night Blue and Gold! The women tip at 5:30 p.m. with the men to follow. Don't miss it! For more info, check out the Spirit Night event page on Facebook.


This winter's Triton Trifecta includes attending all three games at RIMAC Arena to redeem prizes and be entered to win a free Pepsi bike cruiser!  Fans should have already received a free UC San Diego tote bag sponsored by Pepsi upon entry at the home basketball games against Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 19. The second phase will be to attend the Tritons men's volleyball match against UCLA on Jan. 25, where fans will receive UC San Diego tank top replica jerseys upon admission. The third and final stage will be to attend basketball Spirit Night against Stanislaus State on Jan. 31. Proof of admission for all three events puts you in a raffle to take home the free bike cruiser. 


UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer is just two victories away from reaching 150 total in her seventh season as Tritons head coach. VanDerveer has an all-time record of 148-49 (.751) at UC San Diego. 



  • UC San Diego is one of only five remaining undefeated teams in the nation.
  • The Tritons are ranked No. 4 in the latest WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll. It's the highest the program has been ranked since the 2011-12 season.
  • UC San Diego has begun the season 15-0, the program's best start since 2011-12. The Tritons won 26-straight games to begin that season, and reached the NCAA West Region Final.
  • Junior forward Mikayla Williams scored 24 points to go along with career highs of 18 rebounds and six blocks in the Tritons' comeback double-overtime victory against Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 19. Kayla Sato added 20 points as UC San Diego overcame a 14-point halftime deficit in the win.
  • The Tritons have won 21-straight CCAA regular-season contests and 35 of its last 36 in conference play.
  • The Tritons have won 19-consecutive road contests, including 17-straight CCAA road games.
  • UC San Diego averages 78.8 points per game, which ranks tied for 17th in the nation.
  • The Tritons rank sixth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35) and have the six-fewest turnovers per contest (11.9).
  • UC San Diego is making an average of 8.2 3-point field goals per game, which is 33rd nationally.
  • The Tritons rank 29th in the country in free-throw percentage as a team, making 75.1 percent (223-of-297) of their attempts.
  • UC San Diego ranks 24th in the nation in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by an average of 16.1 points per game.
  • The Tritons average 16.1 assists per game, which ranks 25th in the country.
  • Williams is averaging 19.9 points per game this season, which ranks 26th in the nation. The junior forward is also 13th in rebounds per game (11.5), 28th in field-goal percentage (55.5), 43rd in blocks per game (1.80) and her nine double-doubles this season are tied for 14th-most nationally.
  • Junior forward Haleigh Hatfield is 19th in the country in rebounding, averaging 10.9 per contest.
  • Freshman guard Brianna Claros ranks 35th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.14).


(2017-18 stats listed)
G - #13 Joleen Yang (Sr., 5-6, 9.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, All-CCAA Honorable Mention) 
G - #22 Sydney Sharp (Jr., 5-10, 6.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.0 APG)
G - #21 Kayla Sato (Sr., 5-8, 13.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, All-CCAA Second Team)
F - #10 Haleigh Hatfield (Jr., 6-1, Transfer from High Point University)
F - #33 Mikayla Williams (So., 6-1, 15.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, All-CCAA First Team)

Starters Returning (3)
• #13 Joleen Yang (Sr., 5-6): 9.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.6 APG
• #21 Kayla Sato (Sr., 5-8): 13.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.9 APG 
• #33 Mikayla Williams (Jr., 6-1): 15.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 APG

Starters Lost (2)
Dalayna Sampton (F, 6-1 CCAA Player of the Year): 14.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
Taylor Tanita (G, 5-4 All-CCAA Honorable Mention): 5.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.9 APG

Other Letterwinners Returning (3)
• #40 Shandiin Armao (F, Sr., 5-10): 4.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.4 APG
• #14 Stephanie Moore (G/F, Jr., 5-10): 1.5 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.9 APG     
• #30 Layla Ybarra-Harvey (F, RSo., 6-1): 0.6 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.0 APG

Other Letterwinners Lost (4)
Marcella Hughes (G, Jr., 5-5): 4.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.0 APG
Paige Song (G, Sr., 5-9): 2.6 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 1.0 APG
Rebecca Williams (G, Jr., 6-1): 2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG
Kristen Vrcelj (G, So., 5-10): 0.6 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.0 APG

Newcomers (5)
• #12 Madison Baxter (G, Fr., 5-9)
• #15 Brianna Claros (G, Fr., 5-5)
• #24 Kendal Ellenbeck (G, Fr., 6-0)
• #10 Haleigh Hatfield (F, Jr., 6-1)
• #11 Julia Macabuhay (G, Fr., 5-6)


On Nov. 27, 2017 UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020. They will play a full Big West schedule that season and will be eligible for NCAA Championships in men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo and fencing. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. For more information, check out our full Big West Bound page here.


(through 1/22)
1. UC San Diego 11-0, 15-0 

2. Cal Poly Pomona 10-1, 14-2
3. Chico State 8-4 11-4
4. Humboldt State 84, 10-5
5. Cal State San Marcos 7-4, 10-5
6. San Francisco State 7-4, 8-8
7. Cal State San Bernardino 6-6, 7-9
8. Cal State Dominguez Hills 4-7, 8-9
9. Sonoma State 4-7, 6-8
10. Cal State East Bay 4-8, 7-11
11. Cal State LA 3-9, 6-10
12. Stanislaus State 3-9, 4-12
13. Cal State Monterey Bay 0-12, 0-15


(Jan. 22 - Week 9)
1.Indiana (Pa.) (15-0) 
2. Drury (17-0)
3. Northwest Nazarene (16-0)*
4. UC San Diego (15-0)* 
5. Ashland (17-1)
6. Thomas Jefferson (19-0)
7. Union (Tenn.) (17-1)
8. Fort Hays State (16-1)
9. University of the Sciences (16-1)
10. Alaska Anchorage (14-1)* 
11. Virginia Union (15-1)
12. Florida Southern (16-1)
13. California (Pa.) (15-1)
14. West Texas A&M (14-2)
15. Grand Valley State (16-2) 
16. Southwestern Oklahoma State (15-1)
17. Bentley (16-2)
18. Lewis (14-2)
19. Angelo State (12-2)
20. Colorado Mesa (14-1) 
21. Anderson (S.C.) (15-2) 
22. North Georgia (12-2)
23. Pittsburgh State (15-2) 
24. Minnesota State Moorhead (16-2)
25. Central Missouri (12-4)

* - NCAA West Region team


• Preseason Poll: RV
• Week 1 Poll: 17
• Week 2 Poll: 14
• Week 3 Poll: 12
• Week 4 Poll: 10
• Week 5 Poll: 10
• Week 6 Poll: 9
• Week 7 Poll: 6
• Week 8 Poll: 5
• Week 9 Poll: 4

• Preseason Poll: RV
• Week 1 Poll: 21
• Week 2 Poll: 19
• Week 3 Poll: 12
• Week 4 Poll: 9
• Week 5 Poll: 9
• Week 6 Poll: 9
• Week 7 Poll: 8
• Week 8 Poll: 7
• Week 9 Poll: 5

(Jan. 21 - Week 9) (First-place votes)
1. Northwest Nazarene (5)
2. UC San Diego (1)
3. Alaska Anchorage  
4. Cal Poly Pomona
5. Azusa Pacific 
6. Dominican
7. Central Washington
8. Cal State San Marcos
9. Chico State
10. Humboldt State


Rank         School                            Points (First-place votes)
1.             UC San Diego                   144 (12)
2.             Cal Poly Pomona              114
3.             Cal State East Bay.           111 (1)
4.             Chico State.                       100
5.             Cal State LA.                      96
6.             Humboldt State.                  93
7.             Cal State Dominguez Hills  89
8.             Cal State San Marcos         67
9.             Sonoma State                     57
10.           Stanislaus State                  54
11.           Cal State San Bernardino    50
12.           Cal State Monterey Bay       21
13.           San Francisco State            18


Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 11-4 
• CCAA: 8-4 
• Home: 4-0 
• Away: 6-4 
• Neutral: 1-0 
• Highest National Ranking: NR

Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 10-5 
• CCAA: 8-4 
• Home: 4-2 
• Away: 4-3 
• Neutral: 2-0 
• Highest National Ranking: NR


UC San Diego won the CCAA regular-season championship for the third-consecutive season in 2017-18, matching a program and conference-best 21-1 record in CCAA play. The Tritons finished a perfect 11-0 on the road in CCAA games last year, with winning streaks of 11 and 10 in a row during the season. Forward Dalayna Sampton was named CCAA Player of the Year and earned Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-West Region First-Team honors, while head coach Heidi VanDerveer was named CCAA Coach of the Year for the third-straight season and garnered Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 8 Coach of the Year accolades. In addition, returning forward Mikayla Williams was an All-CCAA First-Team and D2CCA All-West Region Second-Team selection, while returning guard Kayla Sato was named to the All-CCAA Second Team as well as the CCAA All-Tournament Team. 

1. UC San Diego, 21-1*
2. Cal Poly Pomona, 16-6
3. Humboldt State, 14-8^ 
4. Chico State, 14-8
5. Cal State LA, 13-9 
6. Cal State East Bay, 12-10 
7. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 11-11 
8. Sonoma State, 9-13 
9. Cal State San Bernardino, 9-13
10. Stanislaus State, 8-14 
11. Cal State San Marcos, 8-14 
12. Cal State Monterey Bay, 5-17 
13. San Francisco State, 3-19

* CCAA regular-season champion
^ CCAA Tournament champion


A former WNBA coach, Olympic team scout and assistant for the legendary Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee, VanDerveer enters her seventh season as UC San Diego head coach in 2018-19. VanDerveer was named California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year for the third-consecutive season in 2017-18, guiding the Tritons to a 28-5 overall record and 21-1 mark in conference play. She also earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division II District 8 Coach of the Year honors. UC San Diego won the CCAA regular-season championship for the third-straight year in 2017-18, making its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. For VanDerveer’s complete bio, click here.


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About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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