It is the year 2008. Numerous events occurred, and several were monumental nature. Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected President. Tech company Microsoft would attempt to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. Fidel Castro would step down as president of Cuba after nearly 50 years of totalitarianism. Along with that, the South Dakota Coyotes women’s basketball became a Division I program.
It’s imperative to recognize the growth of the program since 2008. The Coyotes are now ranked in the AP women’s college basketball poll; the first time South Dakota has been ranked in the top 25 in school history.
To put it simplify, the South Dakota Coyotes have been skyrocketing to success, even now more so than ever.
“Certainly it’s an exciting day for our team and program, our fans and our university,” head coach Dawn Plitzuweit stated to Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press. “It speaks volumes to the hard work our young ladies have done to get to this point.”
The Summit League team has already seen numerous accomplishments since moving to Division I. The Coyotes have one Women’s NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014. South Dakota has been to the Women’s NIT five times, winning the WNIT in 2016. They also have a Summit League tournament championship in 2014 and two Summit League regular season championships in 2015 and 2016.
So long as they continue the pace they are on, South Dakota could be looking at another Summit League crown and an NCAA Tournament appearance in the 2018-19 campaign. The Coyotes (22-3) are off to the best start in program history as a D1 program.
Furthermore, since Plitzuweit became the head coach, South Dakota is 74-19. There’s no reason to believe any of this is slowing down.
This season, it seems to be a magical run for the Coyotes. The team is complete with a roster of talented young women.
Because of the Coyotes’ play on the court, they are riding a nine-game winning streak. It all begins with Ciara Duffy. The 6-foot-1 junior is averaging 14.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game this season.
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“She’s the type of player that can play anywhere. She can be under the basket, she can shoot way outside the arch and that really helps because it forces people to come out and guard her, plus she can drive and attack the basket and post people up,” sophomore guard Madison McKeever noted to Rachel Newville of The Volante.
It is important to note that Duffy is not the only one leading the way for South Dakota.
Along with Duffy, Allison Arens and Hannah Sjerven are helping to push the Coyotes forward to another NCAA Tournament appearance. Truly, this is a team who has the pieces to scare some of the top programs in the country.
Although they are ranked in the top 25, coach Plitzuwelt recognizes the bigger picture.
“Today we can celebrate it without focusing on being on the court then get back to work,” Plitzuweit declared to Feinberg. “This group is really hungry and on a mission right now to be the best they can be.
As a ranked team, South Dakota will have its next game against Western Illinois on Saturday.
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