Women’s Basketball Preview

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Teams: UC Davis vs. Navy; at Houston Baptist
Records: Aggies, 0-2; Midshipmen, 1-2; Huskies, 1-3
Where: Sharp Gym — Houston, Texas
When: Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m.
Who to watch: UC Davis graduated five players last year, each of them with their own legacy. With some of the top-scorers in the Aggies’ history leaving, UC Davis needed someone to put points on the board.

Enter Sydnee Fipps. The sophomore showed promise last year but never truly got the opportunity to display her full capabilities.
Fipps has stepped up in big ways for UC Davis two games into the season, setting a career-high of 19 points scored in the season opener, then shattering that mark with 26 points in the ensuing games.
UC Davis has dropped both of the games, but Fipps’ 45 points on the season is an encouraging statistic for the Aggies as they look for different ways to replace the holes left by last year’s graduating seniors.
Did you know: UC Davis brought in five freshman this year, and each one of them has gotten substantial playing time in the season.
Molly Greubel, Alyson Doherty, Celia Marfone, Heidi Johnson and Aniya Baker are all gaining valuable experience early in the season, and head coach Jennifer Gross is excited for the future of UC Davis basketball.
“We recruited these freshmen to come in and be ready to play right away so we felt like they could have an immediate impact,” Gross said. “Getting them confidence and minutes in the games is really helping; we just have to give them time because they’re young.”
Preview: The UC Davis women’s basketball team will be traveling to Texas on Thanksgiving Day, so the feasting will have to wait.
The Aggies will be competing in the Houston Baptist Husky Classic this weekend, matching up with Navy first, then Houston Baptist on Saturday.
“Both teams bring different things, so it’ll be a good opportunity to see different defenses and offenses,” Gross said. “We’ve had a tremendous week of practices where we get to focus on ourselves and on improving and I’m hoping we’ll be ready to play this weekend.”
The Aggies are 0-2 on the season, dropping their first game to Pepperdine at the Pavilion by a score of 83-68.
UC Davis is still taking time to figure out some of the kinks in the team, as it also fell to San Francisco 72-65 in the next game.
“Obviously we want to win games, but I think we’ve taken big strides for our team; everybody’s just getting better day by day,” Gross said. “We have players trying to figure out their roles on the team, figuring out how they can use their talents for this team in the system that we run.”
Fipps’ performance in the two games was impressive, but the Aggies have gotten encouraging looks from several young players as well.
Greubel knocked down 16 points in her debut in front of the Davis home crowd against the Waves. Senior Blair Shinoda, one of the top scorers for the Aggies last year, will almost definitely return to form and contribute more in the future.
UC Davis will be hoping to put up their first win of the season and Gross is optimistic of the opportunities for the team.
“I’m confident that we’re going to be better when more players are giving us different contributions every game,” Gross said. “I’m excited to see a bunch of different people to step up and we’re ready to win this weekend.”

—Matthew Yuen

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