Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Junior guard Sydney Sharp and the Tritons hit the road to face Cal State LA and Cal State Dominguez Hills.

2019 State of Mind: No. 9 Tritons Hit Road to Face Cal State LA, Cal State Dominguez Hills

UC San Diego

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LA JOLLA, Calif. — The No. 9-ranked University of California San Diego women's basketball team has moved on to the 2019 portion of the season, beginning with a two-game road trip this week at Cal State LA on Thursday, Jan. 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m., and at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 1 p.m.

Live stats for both games will be available, while fans can pay to view a live stream for each game.

UC San Diego (11-0, 7-0 CCAA) is one of only 10 remaining undefeated teams in the nation, and attempts to continue its impressive run through conference play. The Tritons have won 17-consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season contests dating back to last season, and 31 of its last 32 after knocking off Humboldt State and Sonoma State to close 2018.

The 39-point victory over Sonoma State, 86-47, was UC San Diego's largest margin of victory since defeating San Francisco State by 59, 93-34, on Jan. 7, 2016.

"I feel like we're coming together quite well," said head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "We're playing well together, understanding our individual strengths and our collective purpose. We're also playing unselfishly and working hard to get better, which is a great thing in January."

And more help is on the way. Senior guard Kayla Sato is expected to return to the lineup after missing the previous nine games due to a shoulder injury, while senior forward Shandiin Armao is close to seeing her first action of the season after suffering a knee injury.

VanDerveer expects both senior leaders will blend seamlessly into the team's successful blueprint.

"They're both very talented players," said VanDerveer. "Our train is moving and we need them to jump on where we are.

"They're excited and we're excited to have them back."

This week's contests give UC San Diego two very different looks. Cal State LA (6-4, 3-3) ranks fourth in the CCAA in defense, allowing 61.8 points per game.

Junior center Rebecca Diregolo and senior guard Chiderah Uzowuru have each earned conference player of the week honors this year. In addition, the Tritons were pushed to overtime in a 60-56 road victory against the Golden Eagles last season.   

Meanwhile, Cal State Dominguez Hills (7-4, 3-2) is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 71.4 points per contest, and is currently fourth in the conference standings. 

"Both teams are very good," said VanDerveer. "Playing at Cal State LA has always been a challenge for us. They have excellent guards as well as a post player with size that is a good presence for them. (Cal State Dominguez Hills) is extremely athletic.

"We'll see both ends of the spectrum. Both teams are different and present different challenges. We'll have to be ready to play."

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THE SCHEDULE .
Game 12
vs. Cal State LA (6-4, 3-3 CCAA)
Thursday, Jan. 3 • 5:30 p.m.
Cal State LA Gymnasium • Los Angeles 
Watch • Live Stats • Tickets

Game 13
vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills (7-4, 3-2 CCAA)
Saturday, Jan. 5 • 1 p.m.
Torodome • Carson 
Watch • Live Stats • Tickets

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ABOUT UC SAN DIEGO
Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Overall: 11-0 
• CCAA: 7-0 
• Home: 3-0 
• Away: 3-0
• Neutral: 3-0 
• Highest National Ranking (WBCA): 9
• Against Nationally-Ranked Teams: -
• WBCA Coaches Poll (Jan. 2) : 9
• D2SIDA Media National Poll (Jan. 1): 9 
• D2SIDA Media West Region Poll (Dec. 31): 2nd 
• CCAA Standings: 1st

UCSD

TRITON NOTES

  • UC San Diego is one of only 10 remaining undefeated teams in the nation.
  • The Tritons are ranked No. 9 in the latest WBCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll. It's the highest the program has been ranked since beginning the 2012-13 season at No. 8.
  • UC San Diego has begun the season 11-0, 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.
  • The Tritons have won 17-straight CCAA regular-season contests and 31 of its last 32 in conference play.
  • UC San Diego averages 78.7 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the nation.
  • The Tritons are making an average of 8.2 3-point field goals per game, tied for 36th nationally.
  • UC San Diego ranks fourth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.40) and has the fifth-fewest turnovers per contest (11.7).
  • The Tritons rank 12th in the country in free-throw percentage as a team, making 78.0 percent (138-of-177) of their attempts.
  • UC San Diego ranks 19th in the nation in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by an average of 18.5 points per game.
  • The Tritons are holding opponents to 36 percent shooting from the field this season, which is 48th in the country.
  • Junior forward Mikayla Williams ranks 23rd in the nation in points per game (20.5), 16th in rebounds per game (11.2) and 46th in free-throw percentage at 85.3 percent (58-of-68). In addition, her six double-doubles this season are tied for 19th-most nationally.
  • Junior forward Haleigh Hatfield is averaging 10.2 rebounds per contest, which ranks 29th in the country.
  • Williams finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds in a recent home win against Sonoma State on Dec. 31. The junior from Meath Park, Sask., had a double-double in the first half alone with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Freshman guard Julia Macabuhay scored a career-high 19 points along with six rebounds and five assists in a victory over Humboldt State on Dec. 29.
  • Junior guard Sydney Sharp connected on 7-of-10 3-point field goals and finished with a team-high 21 points in a win against Sonoma State on Dec. 31.

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MILESTONE WATCH
UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer is just six victories away from reaching 150 for her Triton career. In her seventh season as head coach, VanDerveer has an impressive overall record of 144-49 (.746).  

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UC SAN DIEGO ROSTER BREAKDOWN
(2017-18 stats listed)
PROBABLE TRITON STARTERS 
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 - #11 Julia Macabuhay (G, Fr., 5-6)
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 (4)
• #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
• #21 Kayla Sato (Sr., 5-8, 13.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, All-CCAA Second Team)
• #22 Sydney Sharp (G, Jr., 5-10): 6.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.0 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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CCAA STANDINGS
(through 1/2)
1. UC San Diego 7-0, 11-0 

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

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WBCA COACHES POLL
(Jan. 2 - Week 6)
1. Union (Tenn.) (12-0)
2. Indiana (Pa.) (9-0) 
3. West Texas A&M (10-0)
4. Drury (11-0)
5. Fort Hays State (11-0) 
6. Northwest Nazarene (10-0)*
7. University of the Sciences (11-0)
8. Ashland (11-1)
9. UC San Diego 11-0)*
10. Grand Valley State (11-1)
11. Bentley (12-1) 
12. California (Pa.) (10-0)
13. Virginia Union (9-1)
14. Alaska Anchorage (9-1)*
15. Central Missouri (8-2) 
16. North Georgia (8-1)
17. Florida Southern (10-1)
18. Thomas Jefferson (12-0)
19. Black Hills State (8-1)
20. Lewis (9-1) 
21. Angelo State (8-1) 
22. Augustana (S.D.) (14-1)
23. Emporia State (10-2) 
24. Truman State (11-1)
25. Saint Mary's (Texas) (9-2)

* - 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

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

D2SIDA WEST REGION POLL
(Jan. 1 - Week 6) (First-place votes)
1. Northwest Nazarene (5)
2. UC San Diego (1)
3. Alaska Anchorage  
4. Cal Poly Pomona
5. Central Washington
6. Dominican
7. Western Washington
8. Azusa Pacific 
9. Chico State
10. Cal State San Marcos 

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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ABOUT CAL STATE LA
Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 6-4 
• CCAA: 3-3 
• Home: 3-1 
• Away: 1-3 
• Neutral: 2-0 
• Highest National Ranking: NR

ABOUT CAL STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS
Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 7-4 
• CCAA: 3-2 
• Home: 5-1 
• Away: 2-2 
• Neutral: 0-1 
• Highest National Ranking: NR

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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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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@ucsdtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (ucsdtritons).

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