SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—A trio of Coyotes were voted to the Summit League Preseason Teams while the South Dakota women’s basketball team was picked second in the preseason poll announced by the league office Wednesday. The polls were voted on by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media.
Senior Allison Arens and junior Ciara Duffy were voted to the preseason all-Summit League first team while junior Madison McKeever was picked to the preseason all-Summit League second team.
Under the direction of 2018 Summit League Coach of the Year Dawn Plitzuweit, the Coyotes ran through the Summit League slate with a perfect 14-0 record last season. South Dakota became the first Summit program to finish the league slate undefeated in 24 years.
The reigning Summit League regular season champions received 257 points and nine of 32 first-place votes for second place. South Dakota State edged the Coyotes out of the top spot with 271 points and the remaining 23 first-place votes. Western Illinois took home the third spot with 192 points.
A native of Crofton, Nebraska, Arens is a two-time all-Summit League first-team pick. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game in 2017-18. The senior boasts an impressive career field-goal percentage of .477. Arens has also stamped her name across USD’s record books from the charity stripe, setting five school records for free throws. Arens recorded 22 double figure games a year ago with a season best of 21 points at Incarnate Word. Arens also earned a spot on the academic all-Summit League team the last two seasons.
Duffy, a native of Rapid City, South Dakota, earned a spot on last year’s all-Summit League first team and the Summit League all-tournament team. She led the Coyotes with 12.3 points and five rebounds per game, while also contributing 2.5 assists and one steal per game. The junior reached double figures in 23 games and had five 20-point efforts. She scored a career high of 25 points against Michigan State to advance to the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Duffy became the first Coyote to earn Academic All-America honors in the Division I era last season. She was also on the academic all-Summit League team.
Hailing from Erskine, Minnesota, McKeever was Summit League honorable mention a year ago. She averaged 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game while playing point for the Coyotes. McKeever ranked second in the Summit with 78 steals on the season and led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) during Summit League play. She tallied 13 double-digit games, recording a season high of 17 points twice during the year versus CSU Bakersfield and at Denver.
South Dakota opens the season on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska.
Preseason All-Summit League First Team
Macy Miller, South Dakota State (Preseason Summit League Player of the Year)
Allison Arens, South Dakota
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota
Madison Guebert, South Dakota State
Taylor Higginbotham, Western Illinois
Lexi Klabo, North Dakota
Preseason All-Summit League Second Team
Claire Gritt, Denver
Tagyn Larson, South Dakota State
Maya Mayberry, Oral Roberts
Madison McKeever, South Dakota
Myah Selland, South Dakota State
1. South Dakota State (23), 271 points
2. South Dakota (9), 257 points
3. Western Illinois, 192 points
4. Oral Roberts, 173 points
5. Denver, 160 points
6. North Dakota, 157 points
7. North Dakota State, 95 points
8. Omaha, 82 points
9. Purdue Fort Wayne, 45 points