Review Category : Sports

Male Freshman of the Quarter: Georgi Funtarov

The Bulgarian native had an outstanding freshman season. After injuries to junior forward J.T. Adenrele and senior forward Josh Ritchart, freshman forward Georgi Funtarov was a sight for sore eyes. Funtarov averaged 8.8 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game in just 24.3 minutes per game. He had a standout game in the win against Cal Poly on Feb. 27, where Funtarov recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Funtarov is also an excellent shooter, he shot 41.5 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from behind the arc this season. His ability to spread the floor and shoot the three has been beneficial for UC Davis all season long. He is expected to be a consistent contributor to the Aggies for the next three years. Funtarov’s presence in the front court will be significant due the to fact that the Aggies are weak in the paint. The minutes and production of Funtarov — especially as a freshman — has had a significant impact on the Aggies... ...

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Male Athlete of the Quarter: Corey Hawkins

After winning Male Athlete of the Year in the 2012-13 school year, Hawkins once again returns, this time as the Male Athlete of the Quarter. Though he has not had nearly the same year as in his 2012-13 season, Hawkins has much to be happy about, including recently earning a spot on the All-Big West second team. With his 18.0 points per game average, Hawkins is once again leading the team in scoring. His 4.5 rebounds per game is third on the team, which is impressive considering he is a 6’3” guard. Despite having a down year, Hawkins still scored at an elite level. His scoring average was good enough for second in the Big West, and many teams have devised defenses in order to stop his scoring. However, these defenses have not always worked as evidenced by Hawkins’ 29-point outburst against Hawai’i this season. But possibly more impressive is that Hawkins has carried the Aggies on his back. With the season-ending injury to junior forward J.T. Adenrele, the redshirting... ...

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Female Team of the Quarter: Swimming and Diving

Conference championships aren’t usually associated with UC Davis. However, members of the UC Davis swimming and diving team would argue otherwise. On Feb. 22, the Aggies won their third Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) championship in four years, earning the honor of The California Aggie’s female team of the quarter. The team, led by senior breaststroker Liliana Alvarez and freshman butterflier Hilvy Cheung, outscored seven other schools to win the MPSF title. On the second day of the meet, all 20 Aggies—16 swimmers and four divers—scored. Alvarez collected two MPSF individual titles, winning the 200 Breast in a pool-record 2:12:84 and also the 100 Breast in 1:00.89. Alvarez, who owns the 100 Breast meet record (1:00.47), became the first swimmer in the history of the MPSF to win one event four times, achieving the feat in the 100 Breast. She is also the first Aggie to qualify for nationals all four years. “She has gotten better every year,” head coach Barbara Jahn said about Alvarez. “And I think it’s a... ...

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Men’s Team of the Quarter: Basketball

The UC Davis men’s basketball squad started off their season with high hopes, winning three of their first five contests. Since that point, they struggled with injuries, absences and a general lack of size and will now be sitting out of the Big West Conference Tournament. The Aggies took their first hit before the season even started, losing junior forward J.T. Adenrele to a season-ending knee injury. Adenrele averaged 12.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the 2012-13 season, while giving UC Davis a consistent big defensive presence. With Adenrele out for the season and forward Ryan Howley graduated, the Aggies were already missing their top two rebounders from a year ago. When senior forward Josh Ritchart was lost for the year after nine games, they were left with too little size to compete in the Big West. Ritchart was nothing short of dominant in his nine games with the Aggies, scoring 17.3 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, while also averaging 6.6 rebounds per game.... ...

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Honorable Mention: Syndee Fipps

With her amazing performance throughout the 2013-14 season, junior forward Sydnee Fipps was named to the All-Big West Conference First Team for the second-straight season on March 10. As a leading player on the team, Fipps played hard in every game, and her consistent and great performance was the key element for all the victories the Aggies had for the past season. Since her first season, Fipps managed not to pick up any major injuries along the way, as she appeared in every single game throughout the last three seasons. By making a three-pointer in the first half against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 1, Fipps became the 16th player in the history of the women’s basketball program at UC Davis to reach the milestone 1,000 points. By the end of this season, Fipps hit the 20-point mark 15 times this season and she is currently ranked seventh place in the UC Davis scoring charts with 1,183 points. With all of her accomplishments in the last three years — especially... ...

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Aggie pride shines through in nationally-televised game

On March 1, ESPN returned to the UC Davis campus. The 5 p.m. game was broadcast nationally as the Aggies played the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Though the game was ultimately a statistical loss as the Gauchos defeated the Aggies, 67-54, the heart and effort that the team put in along with the fans and students who attended left most feeling like the evening was not in vain after all. The game was not only nationally televised, it was also senior night for the men’s basketball team. The lone senior on the team is Ryan Sypkens, and he was honored before the start of the game to thunderous applause from the more than 5,000 fans who packed the ARC Pavilion to support the Aggies. “It was a blessing to have a senior night with a packed house, in this environment, on a nationally-televised game,” Sypkens said. “I really felt the support from the community before, and during the game. I cannot thank them enough.” Pavilion manager and UC Davis alumnus... ...

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Aggies fall to visiting Gauchos in ESPN2 game

With the bright lights shining, the UC Davis men’s basketball squad failed to shoot the ball well and fell to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 67-54. The Aggies missed 11 free throws and made only four of their 19 three-pointers on the night, leading to a 13-point loss. Coming into the game, coach Jim Les and the UC Davis Aggies keyed in on UCSB junior forward Alan Williams, who has averaged 21.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season. “I’m going to lose some sleep tonight trying to figure it out, trying to come up with a plan [to stop Williams],” said Les before the Aggies played UCSB. Apparently, Les managed to come up with something as they performed admirably against Williams. He battled foul trouble throughout the night, picking up two quick fouls to start the second half before fouling out with 5:40 left in the game. On the night, Williams scored just eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds, albeit in a short 16 minutes. Instead,... ...

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Aggies continue tournament travels

Event: Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic Team: North Dakota State, Portland State, Stanford Records: Aggies 7-15; Bisons 10-6; Vikings 3-9 ; Cardinals 17-5 Where: Stanford, Calif. When: Saturday, March 8; Sunday, March 9 Who to Watch: In UC Davis’ fourth tournament of the year, the Aggies traveled to Santa Clara, Calif. and partook in the Santa Clara Marriott Classic. The athletes faced a challenging schedule, playing four games in a mere two days. With a lot of softball to be had in the first weekend of March, the Aggies began by taking on host team Santa Clara. In a well-fought battle, the two teams remained tied at 4-4 until the fifth inning, when the Broncos broke ahead, taking the game, 5-4, over the Aggies. Although the first game of the weekend ended unfavorably, the athletes bounced back to take on Boston University in the second matchup on March 1. The Aggies carried their second game of the day into extra innings, where they bested Boston in the eighth, with a final... ...

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Aggies hope to finish the season strong against UC Riverside and Irvine

Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Riverside; vs. UC Irvine Records: Aggies, 13-14 (8-6); Highlanders, 6-21 (2-12); Anteaters, 14-14 (7-7) Where: The ARC Pavilion — Davis, Calif. When: Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. Who to watch: Sophomore guard Molly Greubel had a huge game against UC Santa Barbara on March 1. She scored 14 points, shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field and 5-5 from the free-throw line. Expect her to continue her excellent shooting. Preview: UC Davis has been playing their best basketball all season. They are currently on a three-win streak after beating Big West No. 1 Cal Poly last week, and UC Santa Barbara in a dominating fashion. The Aggies look to finish the regular season on a high note as they face UC Irvine and UC Riverside at home. UC Riverside fell to last place after losing to CSU Northridge this week. However, UC Riverside is one of the best shooting teams in the Big West, shooting 40.7 percent from... ...

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Aggies continue win-streak against Mustangs, Gauchos

Following a victory at home, the UC Davis women’s basketball team continued its great stretch of performances and finished its final road trip of this season by winning both the road games. The Aggies first matched up with a tough opponent, the Cal Poly Mustangs, who are currently ranked second in the conference standing. In their first meeting in January, UC Davis lost to Cal Poly by the score of 81-72. Unlike the first meeting, Cal Poly came out strong as the Aggies struggled early in the first half. Cal Poly’s Ariana Elegado held the hot hand as she made four consecutive three-pointers to give Cal Poly a 19-6 advantage only seven minutes into the first half. But soon, the Aggies used a 15-4 run to cut the lead to two, 23-21, with 7:04 left in the half. Junior forward Sydnee Fipps made a pair of free throws and a three-pointer which helped UC Davis take its first lead of the game, 28-26. The Mustangs again tied the game on... ...

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Ball don’t lie

I dedicate this column to the infamous and mercurial NBA player Rasheed Wallace, who taught me about basketball justice. If you don’t know what I am talking about, a simple YouTube search for “Rasheed Wallace ball don’t lie” will bring up the famous video I am alluding to. For those of you who want a definition of this phrase, “ball don’t lie” is a belief in karma regarding basketball. If a ref makes a bad call and gives the other team a free throw, the belief would mandate that the opponent would miss the free throws. I am a firm believer in a slightly different version of the “ball don’t lie” philosophy. What you put in is what you get. If you start a small lineup, it’s only logical for your team to get outrebounded by 23. Wait, does that sound familiar? Oh yeah, the men’s basketball team was outrebounded by UC Santa Barbara by that margin. I’m not going to rant about the players, because — believe it or... ...

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News in Brief: UC Davis wins third MPSF Championship in four years

On Feb. 22, the UC Davis swimming and diving team won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championship at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, Calif. — the team’s third championship in four years. The Aggies finished first in a field of eight schools with 712.5 points, 74.5 more than second-place UC Santa Barbara. Senior Liliana Alvarez won her second career individual MPSF title, winning the 200-meter breaststroke in a pool-record 2:12:84. She previously won the 100-meter breaststroke in last year’s meet. Freshman Hilvy Cheung was named MPSF Freshman of the Year, and she finished second in the 200-meter fly with a time of 1:56:14. Senior Haley Porter also earned a second place finish in the 100-meter free with a time of 50:02 — the third fastest 100-meter free swim in UC Davis history. — Scott Dresser ...

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Men’s basketball graces ESPN2 against top-ranked Gauchos

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly; vs. UC Santa Barbara Records: Aggies 8-19 (3-9); Mustangs 10-16 (6-7); Gauchos 18-7 (9-3) Where: The ARC Pavilion — Davis, Calif. When: Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 1 at 5 p.m. What to watch for: UC Davis men’s basketball is back on the national stage, with their game against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos being broadcasted nationally on ESPN2. The Aggies were featured on ESPN a season ago and played a thriller, losing to Big West Conference No. 1 Long Beach State after a game-winning jump shot circled the rim and fell out with time expiring. Watch UC Davis bring energy in front of what will likely be another sold out crowd as they hope to upset the now top-ranked Gauchos. Preview: The last time that UC Davis and Cal Poly met, the Aggies came away with their lone conference road win. UC Davis came out ahead due to an outstanding shooting night, making 48.9 percent of their shots and 45.5... ...

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Inside the Game with Georgi Funtarov

As one of the Aggies’ top recruits this season, freshman Georgi Funtarov has been given quite a lot of responsibility. Averaging 24 minutes per game, 8.4 points per game and leading the team with 4.6 rebounds per game, Funtarov has delivered for UC Davis this season. Due to time conflict and the Aggies’ trip to Hawaii for a road game, assistant director Eric Bankston asked the questions for The Aggie. How has the experience been transitioning to college life? In the beginning it was really different. I went to high school here in America, but college is totally different. Classes are different, it is lectures and school is a little different. Basketball-wise, the game is faster and more athletic. It took me awhile but now I feel more adjusted and comfortable. What are the differences between the college game and the high school game? In high school, you might have two or three guys who might be D-1 prospects. I went to prep school, we had six or seven. But... ...

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Aggies head south to face Mustangs, Gauchos

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; vs. UC Santa Barbara Records: Aggies, 11-14 (6-6); Mustangs, 15-11 (9-4); Gauchos, 8-17 (3-9) Where: Mott Athletics Center — San Luis Obispo, Calif.; The Thunderdome — Santa Barbara, Calif. When: Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. Did you know? Sophomore forward Alyson Doherty and Cal Poly’s Molly Schlemer lead the Big West in field goal percentage, 56.2 and 55.3 respectively. Junior forward Sydnee Fipps is second in the Big West in points per game. After scoring 22 points against Hawai’i, she is now averaging 18.0 points per game. Who to watch: Sydnee Fipps has been on a scoring frenzy. She leads UC Davis in points and rebounds per game, with 18 points and six rebounds, and has scored 20-plus points in four of the last five games. Fipps has been dominant in February, and looks to lead the Aggies to victory this week. Junior guard Kelsey Harris has been shooting 47.3 percent behind the arc... ...

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