Summit League Preseason Favorites

South Dakota's players hold up the championship trophy after beating Omaha 66-43 in the 2021 tournament final at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. USD was picked as the favorite for the 2021-22 Summit League regular season, announced on Tuesday.

SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota women’s basketball was picked as the favorite in the Summit League Preseason Poll for the third-straight year, while Coyote seniors Hannah Sjerven, Chloe Lamb and Liv Korngable were named to the league’s preseason teams. The preseason polls and teams, announced by the league office Tuesday, were voted on by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

The Coyotes received 20 of the 38 first-place votes and tallied 712 points to top the poll.

South Dakota won the 2021 Summit League Tournament in convincing fashion, winning all three games by more than 20 points and earned the program’s third-straight NCAA Tournament berth. USD has won the last two Summit League Tournaments and four of the last seven Summit regular season titles.

South Dakota’s trio of “super seniors” are taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility afforded to them by the NCAA. Sjerven and Lamb have been named preseason all-league for the third year in a row, but this marks the first such recognition for Korngable.

Sjerven, hailing from Rogers, Minnesota, was selected to the first team. Her career accolades include finishing as a finalist for the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, two Summit League Defensive Player of the Year nods, the 2020 Summit Tournament MVP, three all-tournament team honors, two all-Summit first team and one honorable mention recognition. She averaged 17.1 points, 9.8 boards and 2.2 blocks per game last year. She set USD’s school record for single-season field-goal percentage (.581) in 2019-20, ranks second for career blocks (181) and is one of 17 Coyotes with more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

Lamb, a native of Onida, South Dakota, was picked to the first team. She was the 2021 Summit League Tournament MVP, garnered all-league recognition for the third-straight year and earned academic all-league honors. She averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor last season. She was the Summit’s top 3-point shooter, draining 61 3s at a 43.3 percent clip behind the arc. On USD’s top-10 lists, Lamb ranks 10th for career scoring (1,331 points) and sixth for 3s made (187).

Korngable, hailing from Rochester, Minnesota, was named to the second team. She garnered all-Summit League second team and all-tournament honors a year ago after a breakout senior season. She averaged 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field a year ago.

Ten of the 11 spots on the women’s preseason teams were identical to the end-of-season 2021 all-Summit League teams. All six of the women on last year’s first team return and were picked to the first team again.

The Coyotes are under the direction of three-time Summit League Coach of the Year Dawn Plitzuweit, who is set to begin her sixth season at South Dakota. USD opens the 2021-22 slate by hosting Oklahoma on Nov. 9.

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