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Davis

Davis, California

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Inside the Game with Sydnee Fipps

The UC Davis women’s basketball team has caught its stride of late, winning four of its last six.
Junior guard Sydnee Fipps has been, without question, the Aggies’ MVP this season. The Mariposa, Calif. native and managerial economics major leads the team in points per game (17.3), rebounds per game (6.5) and free throw percentage (84 percent). Fipps has led the Aggies in scoring in 11 of their 15 games, accumulating a streak of five straight 20-plus point scoring games in the process.
She took a minute after practice to discuss with The Aggie what goes on behind the scenes and off the court for the women’s basketball team.

Why did you choose UC Davis?
Between my junior and senior years of high school, I tore my ACL, and that’s the big recruiting summer. I didn’t have too many offers, only three or four. UC Davis started taking an interest in me, helping me find a doctor. I came on campus, and I loved it. I fell in love with the coaches and the system and knew it would be a perfect fit for me.

How was winter break? What’s it like spending it with your team and not at home?
It’s way different. It’s fun to watch Netflix and hang out with the team. This break, I watched Scandal, and Lauren [Beyer] went a little insane. She watched like 10 seasons [with] over 20 episodes [each] of “Grey’s Anatomy.” That shows how much time we have. And Davis is empty, so we kind of run it.

What’s your favorite place to travel on road trips?
Hawaii. Even though you don’t get to do much — it’s strictly business and a lot of basketball — still, you’re in Hawaii in shorts and flip flops and it’s fun to just be there. Not many people can say they go to Hawaii every year to play basketball.

So you don’t get much time to explore the cities that you go to?
Not as much as you would think.

Who do you room with on road trips?
It changes each time. You’re never going to have the same roommate twice, so it’s fun.

Who’s been your most memorable roommate?
Brianna [Salvatore] is definitely one of my most memorable roommates, because she just stays up really late and likes to talk and I always get a lot of funny stories from her.

Who’s the funniest on the team?
Celia [Marfone].

Do you guys have a good time on bus rides and flights?
Yeah. You get to hang out with your team, talk, goof around and just get to know each other.

What do you do on the long trips?
The Cal Poly bus trip is really rough. It’s very long, so we watch a lot of movies and have study hall time. We watched She’s the Man more than once. Last year, we watched Pitch Perfect. I loved the movie going in to the Cal Poly trip, but now I can never hear [any] of those songs.

Did you want to be a basketball player growing up?
I was always into sports. Club volleyball was more prominent in my town, and everyone thought I was going to be a volleyball player. There wasn’t enough physicality in the game for me. I liked to hit people, so I had to change from just hitting a ball to a contact sport, so I switched over to basketball.

Are your teammates good at other sports too?
Yeah. Every year we play IM football. Freshman year, we won it. Last year, we lost in the championship game. We’re really fortunate that coach Jen [Gross] let’s us play IMs. We’re obviously way taller than everyone, so we played IM volleyball last year too. We couldn’t hit the ball very well, but we blocked everyone’s shots.

Who’s the quarterback?
Celia. Kelsey [Harris] and I are receivers. Ally [Doherty] and Lauren decided they weren’t good enough for us, so they would cheer and bring us oranges and gatorade.

Speaking of Kelsey, she hit a monster three the other night. What was that like?
It was insane. I was on the weak side, and I didn’t even go to rebound because I knew it was going in.

How are you feeling? You were sick around the end of last week.
I had food poisoning. It was the worst thing ever. I couldn’t eat for two days. And the day of the [Long Beach State] game, once I was able to stand vertically, they just put me on IVs.

So you were like Michael Jordan during his “flu game.”
I guess. But I don’t know if it was my best game. I was kind of out of it.

Favorite pre-game music?
As a team, we listen to the song “Turn Down for What” right before we run out. But I love country music, so before every game, I listen to country and it calms me down.

Favorite country singer?
Rascal Flatts.

If you weren’t playing basketball for UC Davis, what would you be doing?
I would be getting straight As and probably almost be a doctor. Just kidding. Probably not. If I could, I’d play volleyball.

Plans for after college?
I’d like to continue to play as long as my body will let me. So I think short-term I’d like to play overseas for a little.

What’s something nobody knows about you?
I’m from Yosemite and I’ve never climbed Half Dome. That’s kind of weak, being an athlete and everything.

On your bucket list?
Definitely.

Anything you’d like to add?
Go Ags!

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