Dani Nafekh, Brynton Lemar and Alexis Brown receive top individual honors; student-athletes select recipients of six new awards
UC Davis travels to Washington State for its third road game of this postseason on Thursday in Pullman, Wash.
UC Davis looks to make it two straight postseason wins when it travels to Colorado State
Aggies claim first Division I-era postseason win, headed to Colorado State
UC Davis opens WNIT with first-round contest at Utah
Big West Conference Tournament Semifinals - No. 4 UC Davis vs. No. 1 UC Riverside (Honda Center - Anaheim, Calif.)
UC Davis takes on top-ranked Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
Named head coach of the women's basketball program in October of 2010, Gross officially began her first year at the helm during the 2011-12 season, immediately leading the Aggies to 17 wins and their third consecutive postseason berth (and fourth in five years) with a bid in the WNIT. Under her tutelage, UC Davis has been a perennial contender in the Big West, advancing to the conference tournament in five straight seasons, working up from first-round berths in her first two years to an appearance in the Big West Tournament championship game in 2016 -- the program's first showing in the league's title game since the Aggies won the tournament and advanced to the NCAA's in 2011.
As the program's offensive coordinator, she implemented a Princeton-style offense, building it from the ground up. Using the fundamentals of sharp cuts, smart passes, and an unprecedented level of teamwork, the Aggies have been able to give opponents fits with their precision and execution. That has paid off as UC Davis has led the league in field goal percentage in two of the last three seasons (finishing second in 2016) and paced the Aggies to the top of the Big West three-point shooting charts in 2015.
During her tenure as head coach, Gross has coached 10 players to a total of 16 All-Big West honors -- including three-time first-team all-conference performer Sydnee Fipps, who became only the second Aggie student-athlete to accomplish the feat (Paige Mintun, 2009-11) and only one of 11 players in the history of the Big West Conference to earn first-team honors at least three times in a career. Fipps eventually ended her career as the program's all-time scoring leader at the Division I level and second on the school's all-time list with 1,636 career points.
Samantha Meggison was a first-team honoree in 2011-12, Alyson Doherty earned first-team honors in 2016 and was a two-time second-team choice, while Hannah Stephens, Cortney French, Celia Marfone, and current junior Pele Gianotti have earned honorable mention honors. In addition, Doherty, Molly Greubel, current junior Dani Nafekh, and sophomore Morgan Bertsch, have been honored as all-freshman team selections, while Doherty (twice in 2015 and 2016) and Bertsch (2016) have earned Big West All-Tournament Team laurels
All told, since returning to her alma mater in 2004-05, Gross has helped establish the foundation of UC Davis' successful transition to the Division I level, helping lead the Aggies to 191 victories, the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament (2011), three berths in the WNIT (2008, 2010, and 2012), and a .526 (191-172) winning percentage, in 12 seasons.
In addition, 18 student-athletes have gone on to earn a total of 30 all-conference honors -- including nine first-team awards, 11 players have been named the league's player of the week, six have been honored on the conference's all-freshman team -- including 2009 Freshman of the Year Lauren Juric, and seven student-athletes have led the league in various statistical categories at the end of the year.
In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Gross has been the recruiting coordinator for the Aggies since her arrival in 2004. As a former three-year CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honoree, Gross knows what it takes both athletically and academically to succeed at UC Davis. Off the court, and in the classroom, the Aggies have shined, led by Jessica Campbell, who was a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honoree in 2008, while also earning a pair of Division I Independent Women's Basketball All-Academic Team honors in 2005 and 2006, a Big West All-Academic Team honor as a senior, as well as the Hubert Heitman Award as the department's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year in 2008.
Kimberly Smith (2005, 2006) and Haylee Donaghe (2007) joined Campbell as honorees on the Division I Independent Women's Basketball All-Academic Team, before the Aggies joined the Big West Conference, where 15 student-athletes have combined for a total of 23 all-academic team honors since 2007-08, including three-time award winners Idit Oryon (2012-14) and Brianna Salvatore (2012, 2014-15).
Prior to returning to UC Davis, Gross spent two years as an assistant coach at San Diego State University (2002-2004). In addition, Gross gained valuable experience coaching at her high school alma mater, University City High School in San Diego. After two seasons as an assistant, she took over as head coach in 2000 guiding the Centurions to a 50-9 record in two years at the helm. In her four-year career at UCHS, the team won four straight Western League titles plus a pair of CIF-San Diego Section banners.
As a student-athlete from 1993-97 at UC Davis, Gross set school records for career assists (448), steals (300) and three-pointers (163), the first of which still stands. Additionally, she ranks ninth all-time at UC Davis in career scoring, compiling 1,243 points.
As a senior, Gross led the Aggies to a school-record 29-3 mark and the school's first appearance at the Division II Elite Eight tournament. UC Davis finished third at the national tourney, beating Bentley in the consolation final. For her part, she won Kodak All-America honorable mention honors and was selected to the Northern California Athletic Conference first team for the second time. However, perhaps her finest achievement was her participation in 101 victories during her four-year career, the winningest span in program history.
Gross graduated from UC Davis in 1997, earning her bachelor's degree in organizational studies. She earned her master's degree in Sports Coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 2008.
After her collegiate career, Gross went on to play professionally in Denmark (July 1997-Apr. 98) and Israel (July-Dec. 1998). She was inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
Gross married UC Davis assistant coach Joe Teramoto in 2010 when they were both assistants on former coach Sandy Simpson's staff. The couple has a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Amelia.