A Community Celebration For One Tenacious Team

USD celebrates women's basketball team's win over FGC

More than 20,000 people packed the stands over the final five University of South Dakota Women’s Basketball games at the Dakota Dome.

It’s that support that made for one emotional WNIT championship celebration with their fans today.

“Most of all, I just want to thank this entire group of young women,” said head coach, Amy Williams.

It was an emotional day Williams, who choked back tears of gratitude while thanking fans for their continuous support this season.

“I just never knew that it was possible to have over 7,400 people in the dome to support this team,” she went on to say.

The Coyotes clawed their way through the WNIT tournament, culminating with a win over Florida Gulf Coast. A game they in which they won not only the title, but the hearts of fans.

“Would you say Vermillion and South Dakota are proud of the team today?” I asked alumnus, Ken Beringer.

“Very, very proud and they should be,” he said, “The whole state should. This isn’t for the university it’s for South Dakota.”

Director of Athletics, David Herbster, called Saturday’s win, one that resonates with people all over the world.

“This team ignited a sense of pride across the entire country,” said Herbster.

Pride, which never left. Even after a heartbreaking loss to rival South Dakota State, that cost the Coyotes a ticket to NCAA tournament. But despite that loss, USD junior and guard for the Coyotes, Jasmine Trimboli, says it was a blessing in disguise.

“When we got told that we were playing in the WNIT, I think we all just regrouped and realized we have another opportunity to play together as a team,” said Trimboli.

“To just have everyone here and supporting us it’s an incredible feeling.”

A perfect farewell to the Dakota Dome, before the Coyotes move in to a new $66 million facility this fall.

“I can’t think of a better, more fitting way, to end the 35-plus-year history of basketball in the Dakota Dome than with a national title,” added Herbster.

This is the first ever postseason tournament championship for any men’s or women’s Summit League team.