SAN RAMON, Calif. - The University of California San Diego women’s basketball team was favored to win the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches for the 2017-18 season. The announcement was made Monday by the CCAA.
UC San Diego was selected to win the title with eight of the league’s 13 first-place votes for a total of 138 points.
Only five points behind with three first-place votes was reigning CCAA Tournament Champion Cal State East Bay with a total of 133 points. The remaining two first-place votes went to Cal Poly Pomona, picked to finish third with 127 points.
Cal State San Marcos (92), Cal State L.A. (90), Chico State (88), Sonoma State (79), Cal State San Bernardino (73), Stanislaus State (63), Humboldt State (50), Cal State Dominguez Hills (40), Cal State Monterey Bay (27), San Francisco State (14) rounded out the rest of the poll.
The Tritons finished the 2016-17 season 23-7, taking home the CCAA regular season crown with a 17-3 record in conference play. UCSD was the runner-up in the CCAA Tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA West Regional, suffering a loss to Simon Fraser in the quarterfinal.
In her sixth year at the helm, head coach Heidi VanDerveer, the 2016-17 CCAA Coach of the Year, returns CCAA Newcomer of the Year Dalayna Sampton as well as CCAA honorable mention honoree Joleen Yang. Sampton averaged 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, shooting 54.3 percent (127-234) from the floor. Yang dished out a team-best 74 assists and averaged 9.4 points per game. VanDerveer also returns starters Taylor Tanita (9.7 ppg, 6.0 apg), Paige Song (4.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.2 apg) and Mikayla Williams (8.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg).
UCSD opens the 2017-18 regular season in Riverside Nov. 10-11. The Tritons play Simon Fraser Friday, Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m. and California Baptist Saturday, No. 11 at 12 p.m.
2017-18 CCAA Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. UC San Diego, 138 points (8 first-place votes)
2. Cal State East Bay, 133 (3)
3. Cal Poly Pomona, 127 (2)
4. Cal State San Marcos, 92
5. Cal State L.A., 90
6. Chico State, 88
7. Sonoma State, 79
8. Cal State San Bernardino, 73
9. Stanislaus State, 63
10. Humboldt State, 50
11. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 40
12. Cal State Monterey Bay, 27
13. San Francisco State, 14