SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento State women’s basketball team is set to make history Saturday evening as the Hornets make their NCAA tournament debut against the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California.
The Hornets, the No. 13 seed will face the 4-seeded Bruins, a tough Pac-12 opponent, however, the team is ready for the challenge.
“They have a lot of strengths,” said Hornets Head Coach Mark Campbell. “They’re one of the elite programs in college basketball.”
Campbell continued, “Number one, we’ve got to play our game and we’ve got to be confident in what we do and what’s got us here. That’s been our theme this week. Be us, and be confident in what we do.”
Head coach Mark Campbell is in his second season with Sacramento State and has already turned the program around, not only making an impact on the win column, but on the women he coaches.
“He’s great. He’s flipped this program in two years,” said senior Jordan Oliveras. “He’s given us the room to play to our strengths and help us reach our full potential.”
Another bright spot is senior Kahlaijah Dean. Dean is a transfer from Oakland University, who finished the regular season as BIG Sky MVP for the second consecutive season. The point guard said she never imagined where she would be today, heading to the post-season tournament. It’s an honor and journey she’s proud to be on.
“I would say our chemistry,” Dean says is the difference maker compared to other teams she’s been on. “The way we play together, we’re not selfish. There’s nobody looking to get their own. Everybody plays together. Just when it comes to offense and defense, we’re always talking. Just the communication and chemistry part.”
To learn more about the women, watch the full interview above as the team discusses their road to the postseason.