Jacks Hoping for Fifth Straight NCAA Tourney Berth - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Jacks Hoping for Fifth Straight NCAA Tourney Berth

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    The South Dakota State women's basketball team has had a tough non-conference schedule and is off to a 5-4 start to the season.  One of their wins was over nationally ranked Nebraska. 

     With Summit League play beginning, the Jacks expect to be on top again in March.

     As always the expections are high at South Dakota State.  The Jacks have won the Summit League tournament title, and gone to the NCAA Tournament for four straight years.  Now it's time to take it further.

 "We want to get in the tournament and do well, it's not enough to be there." says senior Katie Lingle.   

  "You hit a point where you a plateau.  We don't want to do that.  When we get the NCAA Tournament we want to win some games.  Our tough non-conference schedule prepares us for that."  says head coach Aaron Johnson.   

  Aaron Johnston is in his 13th season as the head coach.  Each year he loses great players, and the next season, new great players, ike senior Ashley Eide emerge as leaders.

 "That's something our program has done for a long time.  You lose players, but new players come in and step up.  A player like Ashley Eide is ready to become a star.  So is Leah Dietel.  I could go on and on." says Johnson

   "You become an upperclassman and it's your turn to fill a role."  says junior Tara Heiser.   

   This years Jacks team has a lot of depth.

   "Everyone knows about the senior and junior class.  But it's the group of sophmores who are playing key roles that really give us the depth." says Johnston

   "We have a lot of players who can contribute, which should make it a good season." says senior Leah Dietel.

    It'll be a tough weekend for the Jacks.  They play at Northern Iowa on Saturday, then at Penn State on Sunday.

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