Despite Sweet-16 exit, Coyotes end season in historic fashion
WICHITA, KS (KTIV) - After knocking off Ole Miss and Baylor, the South Dakota Coyotes’ run in the NCAA Tournament finally came to an end against Michigan here in Wichita. However for the team, there’s no shame in the loss. As this year’s squad not only made school history, but set a tone for the program moving forward.
The Coyotes finish the year with 29 wins and six losses, including another Summit League Championship and their best ever finish in the NCAA Tournament.
The team will be losing it’s core of seniors in Liv Korngable, Chloe Lamb and Hannah Sjerven that came back to lead this team to one more run at the tournament. But for those seniors, more than anything, they want to be remembered for what they’ve accomplished off the court.
“Our entire team, our coaches do everything they can. But I hope people think that we may be good on the basketball court, but we’re good people too.” said South Dakota Senior Guard Chloe Lamb.
And they hope that legacy will be just as strong as their accomplishments with the team.
“And I think through our community, and Coach P’s Pack, and just seeing what we’ve done with the younger girls in Vermillion. I think that we did as good of a job as we could have with that.” said South Dakota Senior Forward Hannah Sjerven.
Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said the seniors on the team gave their all to the program, and redefined South Dakota Basketball on and off the court. Plitzuweit said though that even with the massive loss in four seniors, she expects the team to find their footing again and be competitive for another run like this in the future.
“When the time is right, and the time’s not right right now, they’ll get back at it. And now they’ve tasted it, and they know what it feels like to be here, but they also know what it feels like to face defeat. So I think they will be really hungry.” said Plitzuweit.
“You would think the bright lights and the significance that comes with these games would bring some fear or be overwhelming to them. You wouldn’t think so.” said Lamb.
While it’s never for certain a team like South Dakota will make runs in the NCAA Tournament like this, 2022′s experience will only bolster the program moving forward.
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