The UC Davis women’s basketball team seems poised for a successful season, returning all five starters and ten players total from the previous year’s team. The team has already faced its first opponent Sonoma State in a exhibition game and came away with a dominant win. Despite coming out of the gates slow, the Aggies showed a level of cohesion and effort that will take them far.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, their next game won’t be against a Division II opponent. Instead, UC Davis will face off against reigning National Champions UConn who are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Last year, UC Davis took a trip to Storrs, Conn. to face UConn at home and came away with a 97-37 loss. Seniors Sydnee Fipps and Kelsey Harris were able to score in double digits, 13 and 12 points respectively, but no other Aggie finished with more than five points. The next lowest amount that they scored in a game all season was 48 points to a Stanford team now ranked No. 6 nationally.
The Aggies should expect to fare better this year than they did the last. They have improved in all facets of the game and have a cohesive offensive unit that should be able to put up more than 37 points. Still, two starters for UC Davis, juniors Molly Greubel and Alyson Doherty, will likely be missing the game as they recover from injuries.
The UConn team returns three starters, including two preseason All Americans, from a team that won all 40 of its games last season en route to a second straight national championship. Forward Breanna Stewart, who stands at 6’4, will be in the running for National Player of the Year this season and is a major player to watch in the game.
Despite the long odds, UC Davis head coach Jennifer Gross is excited about the game. “We see this game as a win/win for us,” Gross said. “We get the opportunity to compete against the two-time defending national champs on our home court. We are not looking at it as a pressure situation.”
The UC Davis women’s team will start their season playing against the best of the best, something that Gross hopes will positively impact their season. For fans, this represents a chance to watch a basketball titan, led by legendary coach Geno Auriemma, play in the Pavilion.