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NCAA Women: Sara Anastasieska transfers to Cal
After a solid freshman season at Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), 5’11” guard Sara Anastasieska has made the decision to transfer and will move to the University of California, Berkeley for the remainder of her college basketball career.
Anastasieska came to UTSA in 2015 as one of The Pick and Roll’s top 5 Australian freshmen and quickly established herself as part of the rotation, playing in 25 of the team’s 29 contests and averaging 13.5 minutes per game. The guard averaged 4.8 points per game, shooting 37% from the field and scoring in double figures 5 times. Undoubtedly, Anastasieska’s breakout game came in a nail-biting 54-52 win over UAB, shooting 7/9 from the field and leading all scorers with 19 points.
Anastasieska also led the Roadrunners to an upset victory in their final regular season game of 2015/16. Coming up against nationally ranked in-state rival UTEP, the Australian led the team with 14 points as UTSA picked up only their second win against a nationally ranked opponent in program history.
In describing her reasons for choosing California, Anastasieska spoke glowingly of the coaching staff.
"The coaching staff relate to me, and by speaking to the team I know that the coaches really care about the player's wellbeing."
The Sydney-sider had her heart set on a move to Berkeley, describing it as her dream school. She even placed all contact with all other suitors on hold once the Golden Bears came calling. When asked about her reasons for transferring, Anastasieska quite simply wanted to step up and challenge herself.
"I want to play against the best in the nation,” shared Anastasieska; and that is exactly what Cal offers.
Moving to the Pac-12 will see Anastasieska come up against much stiffer competition than she faced at UTSA. The conference featured two Final Four teams this season in Oregon State and Washington, and also features perennial powerhouses Stanford and UCLA alongside rising power Arizona State. Anastasieska joins an ever burgeoning list of Australians in the Pac-12. Alanna Smith is entering her sophomore year at California’s rival Stanford, whilst Washington State feature the pair of Louise Brown and Krystle McKenzie. Oregon’s roster features a trio of Aussies in Megan Trinder, Jacinta Vandenberg, and Morgan Yaeger, whilst Danijela Milisic is set to commence at USC this season.
Per NCAA rules, Anastasieska will be forced to sit out the 2016/17 season, and will return to competition with Cal in 2017/18.