USD Women Celebrate

Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, left, and members of the South Dakota women's basketball game celebrate after winning the Summit League Women's Basketball Tournament championship last season at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

SIOUX FALLS -- South Dakota and senior center Hannah Sjerven were named The Summit League preseason favorite and Preseason Player of the Year, respectively, for the 2020-21 women’s basketball season. The league's nine head coaches and sports information directors along with two media members from each school's coverage area voted on the awards.

South Dakota, the 2019-20 regular season and tournament champion, topped the poll for the second-consecutive year after tallying 587 points. The Coyotes received 25 of the 36 first-place votes, while the remaining 11 went to in-state rival South Dakota State, who held down the second spot (566 points; 11 first-place votes).

Sjerven averaged 12.2 ppg and 7.3 rpg to go with a league-leading 58.1 percent clip from the field last season. Joining her on the Preseason All-Summit League First team were teammate Chloe Lamb, Oral Roberts guard Keni Jo Lippe, Omaha forward Mariah Murdie and South Dakota State forwards Paiton Burckhard and Myah Selland.

The Preseason All-Summit League Second Team is made up of the South Dakota State forward duo of Tylee Irwin and Tori Nelson, South Dakota guard Monica Arens, North Dakota forward Julia Fleecs and Western Illinois forward Evan Zars.

Points for the preseason poll were compiled on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, while all-league teams were compiled on an 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The top six vote-getters earned first-team honors and the next five were selected to the second team. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes or team.

2020-21 Preseason Summit League Player of the Year

Hannah Sjerven – South Dakota

Preseason All-Summit League First Team

Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State, Jr., F (14.2 ppg/5.7 rpg/1.8 apg)

Chloe Lamb, South Dakota, Sr., G (11.2 ppg/3.3 rpg/1.5 apg)

Keni Jo Lippe, Oral Roberts, Sr., G (18.5 ppg/8.0 rpg/2.5 apg)

Mariah Murdie, Omaha, Jr., F (11.1 ppg/6.0 rpg/1.2 bpg)

Myah Selland, South Dakota State, Jr., F (13.8 ppg/5.0 rpg/3.0 apg)

Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota, Sr., F (12.2 ppg/7.3 rpg/2.0 bpg)*

Preseason All-Summit League Second Team

Monica Arens, South Dakota, Sr., G (9.3 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.8 apg)

Julia Fleecs, North Dakota, Jr., F (12.2 ppg/4.8 rpg/0.7 apg)

Tylee Irwin, South Dakota State, Sr., F (8.5 ppg/5.1 rpg/2.3 apg)

Tori Nelson, South Dakota State, So., F (9.7 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.0 spg)

Evan Zars, Western Illinois, Jr., F (9.1 ppg/9.3 rpg/1.5 bpg)

*Preseason player of the year automatically earns a spot on the first team

Preseason Poll

Rank School (1st Place Votes) Points

1. South Dakota (25) 587

2. South Dakota State (11) 566

3. Western Illinois 389

4. Oral Roberts 376

5 North Dakota State 371

6. Kansas City 323

7. Denver 300

8. North Dakota 203

9. Omaha 124

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