Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Junior guard Sydney Sharp and the Tritons take on Cal State San Marcos in Friday's CCAA Semifinal.

No. 2 Tritons Set For CCAA Tournament

UC San Diego

HAYWARD, Calif. — The Tritons have moved on to a new chapter of the 2018-19 season, but are set to see an old familiar foe.

The undefeated, No. 2-ranked University of California women’s basketball team continues California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament play on Friday, March 9, with a semifinal matchup against No. 4-seed Cal State San Marcos beginning at 12:05 p.m.

The winner takes on either No. 2-seed Cal Poly Pomona or host and No. 6-seed Cal State East Bay, who will play at approximately 2:35 p.m.

Friday will be the third meeting this season between the two San Diego County programs, with the first two matchups being decided by a total of three points.

UC San Diego (27-0) won a road game at The Sports Center in San Marcos, Calif., 54-52, on a last-second shot on Dec. 1. The Tritons followed it up with a double-overtime 68-67 home victory at RIMAC Arena on Jan. 19.

“It’s definitely going to be a gritty game, and we’ll have a target on our back,” said Tritons junior forward Haleigh Hatfield. “We’ll have to come out with 100-percent intensity from the jump and throw the first punch.

“We’re at the point where everyone wants it, so we have to want it more.”

There are no surprises at this stage of the season, and the Tritons realize it will take their best effort to defeat the Cougars for the third time in three months. 

However, overcoming challenges is what UC San Diego has done the entire season.

“(Cal State San Marcos) is an excellent team in our conference and present different challenges,” said head coach Heidi VanDerveer. “They’re very well coached, have talented players and they’ll play us defensively very well. 

“It will have to be our best game of the season, but we say that every game.”

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CCAA TOURNEY SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Quarterfinals - Tuesday, March 5
• No. 1 UC San Diego 87, No. 8 San Francisco State 36 
• No. 2 Cal Poly Pomona 66, No. 7 Sonoma State 59 
• No. 6 Cal State East Bay 72, No. 3 Humboldt State 62 
• No. 4 Cal State San Marcos 75, No. 5 Cal State Dominguez Hills 69

Semifinals - Friday, March 8 at Cal State East Bay
• No. 1 UC San Diego vs. No. 4 Cal State San Marcos 12:05 p.m.
• No. 2 Cal Poly Pomona vs. No. 6 Cal State East Bay, 2:35 p.m.

Final - Saturday, March 9 at Cal State East Bay
• Championship game, 5:05 p.m.

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CCAA FINAL STANDINGS
(through 3/7)
1. UC San Diego 22-0, 27-0 

2. Cal Poly Pomona 19-3, 24-4
3. Humboldt State 17-5, 19-7
4. Cal State San Marcos 14-8, 18-9
5. Cal State Dominguez Hills 10-12, 14-15
6. Cal State East Bay 10-12, 14-15
7. Sonoma State 9-13, 11-15
8. San Francisco State 9-13, 10-18
9. Cal State San Bernardino 9-13, 10-16
10. Chico State 9-13, 12-13
11. Stanislaus State 8-14, 9-17
12. Cal State LA 6-16, 9-17
13. Cal State Monterey Bay 1-21, 1-24

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THE SCHEDULE .
Game 28
vs. Cal State San Marcos (18-9, 14-8 CCAA)
Friday, March 8 • 12:05 p.m.
Pioneer Gymnasium • Hayward
Watch • Live Stats 

Game 29
vs. No. 2 Cal Poly Pomona/No. 6 Cal State East Bay 
Saturday, March 9 • 5:05 p.m.
Pioneer Gymnasium • Hayward
Watch 

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ABOUT UC SAN DIEGO
Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Overall: 27-0 
• CCAA: 22-0 
• Home: 12-0 
• Away: 12-0
• Neutral: 3-0 
• Highest National Ranking (WBCA): 2nd
• Against Nationally-Ranked Teams: -
• WBCA Coaches Poll (March 5) : 2
• D2SIDA Media National Poll (Feb. 26): 2
• CCAA Standings: 1st

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MIKAYLA WILLIAMS NAMED CCAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR, CLAROS FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, VANDERVEER COACH OF THE YEAR 
Junior forward Mikayla Williams was named California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Year on Thursday, while freshman guard Brianna Claros earned CCAA Freshman of the Year and Heidi VanDerveer received CCAA Coach of the Year for the fourth-consecutive season. In addition, senior guard Joleen Yang joined Williams on the All-CCAA First Team, juniors Sydney Sharp and Haleigh Hatfield landed on the All-CCAA Second Team and senior guard Kayla Sato garnered All-CCAA Honorable Mention.

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TRITONS CLAIM FOURTH-STRAIGHT CCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
With a road victory at Sonoma State on Feb. 21, UC San Diego won its fourth-consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season championship. It is the ninth regular-season CCAA title in program history, as the Tritons claimed the conference crown outright for the third-straight season. The four titles in a row matches the program's run of four-consecutive championships from 2006-07 to 2009-10, all of which were outright.

UCSD

TRITON NOTES

  • UC San Diego has begun the season 27-0, its best start in program history. 
  • The Tritons have won the CCAA regular-season championship for the fourth-consecutive season.
  • UC San Diego is one of only two remaining undefeated teams in the nation, and is ranked No. 2 in the WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll for the sixth-straight week. 
  • The Tritons finished the regular season winning 31-straight CCAA regular-season contests and 45 of their last 46 in conference play.
  • UC San Diego averages 79.3 points per game, which ranks 11th in the nation.
  • The Tritons rank fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.40) and have the 13th-fewest turnovers per contest (12.3).
  • UC San Diego averages 17.1 assists per game, which ranks 16th nationally.
  • The Tritons are making an average of 8-9 3-point field goals per game, which is 14th in the nation. 
  • The Tritons are outscoring opponents by an average of 19.4 points per game, which ranks 12th in the nation.
  • UC San Diego is tied for 24th in the country with 241 made 3-pointers. 
  • The Tritons are allowing opponents to shoot just 27.3 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 17th nationally. 
  • Mikayla Williams earned CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 First-Team honors on Feb. 21.
  • Williams is averaging 19.8 points per game this season, which ranks first in the CCAA and 21st in the nation. The junior forward also leads the conference in field-goal percentage (55.6), is second in free-throw percentage (.820) and is fifth in rebounding (10.4)
  • Junior guard Sydney Sharp's 77 made 3-point field goals this season lead the CCAA and are tied for 31st in the country. Sharp's .410 3-point field-goal percentage is good for second in the conference and 26th nationally.
  • Junior forward Haleigh Hatfield is fourth in the CCAA and 25th in the country in rebounding, averaging 10.6 per contest.
  • Freshman guard Brianna Claros ranks second in the CCAA and 22nd in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.19).

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

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, 2017-18 CCAA Player of the Year): 14.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
Taylor Tanita (G, 5-4, 2017-18 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)

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BIG WEST BOUND
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.

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NCAA WEST REGION POLL
(March 6 - Week 3) 
1. UC San Diego 
2. Alaska Anchorage 
3. Northwest Nazarene  
4. Azusa Pacific
5. Cal Poly Pomona 
6. Humboldt State
7. Simon Fraser
8. Dominican
9. Cal State San Marcos
10. Hawai'i Pacific

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WBCA COACHES POLL
(March 5 - Week 15)
1. Drury (28-0)
2. UC San Diego (26-0)*
3. Fort Hays State (27-1)
4. University of the Sciences (27-1)
5. Alaska Anchorage (27-1)*
6. Ashland (26-2)
7. Grand Valley State (26-2)
8. Southwestern Oklahoma State (27-1)
9. Northwest Nazarene (26-2)*
10. Union (Tenn.) (26-2)
11. Virginia Union (25-2)
12. Bentley (27-2)
13. Thomas Jefferson University (26-2)
14. Indiana (Pa.) (23-3)
15. Anderson (SC) (26-2)
16.  West Texas A&M (25-3)
17. Florida Southern (25-3)
18. Glenville State (26-2)
19. Lewis (25-3)
20. Colorado Mesa (23-3)
21. California (Pa.) (23-4)
22. Angelo State (21-4)
23. Azusa Pacific (24-4)
24. Central Missouri (22-5)
25. Lubbock Christian (23-5)

* - NCAA West Region team

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UC SAN DIEGO IN THE WBCA POLL
• 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
• Week 10 Poll: 2
• Week 11 Poll: 2
• Week 12 Poll: 2
• Week 13 Poll: 2
• Week 14 Poll: 2
• Week 15 Poll: 2

UC SAN DIEGO IN THE D2SIDA NATIONAL MEDIA POLL
• 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
• Week 10 Poll: 3
• Week 11 Poll: 3
• Week 12 Poll: 2
• Week 13 Poll: 2
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ABOUT CAL STATE San Marcos
Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 1-23 
• CCAA: 1-19 
• Home: 1-11 
• Away: 0-11
• Neutral: 0-1
• Highest National Ranking: NR

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CCAA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
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

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2017-18 HIGHLIGHTS
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. 

FINAL 2017-18 CCAA STANDINGS
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

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HEAD COACH HEIDI VANDERVEER
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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GEAR HERE
UC San Diego Athletics has partnered with Advanced-Online to provide a web-based, on-demand option for Triton apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 1,000 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.

FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UC San Diego home athletic events, and much more!

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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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