After Loss, Jacks Look To The Future
by Zach Borg, Weekend Sports Anchor
March 24, 2013 8:46 PM
Ten years ago, South Dakota State reached the mountain top of Division II and won a national championship. The new goal in Division I has been the "Sweet 16" and even though SDSU fell short for the fourth straight year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, coach Aaron Johnston still feels they're getting closer to scaling new heights.
"A year ago after we lost in the NCAA Tournament, and fast forward until now, I do feel like we're in a better position than we were in a year ago. Our next two recruiting classes are excellent and pretty much complete. We've got young players that I think are ready to take big steps forward," said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston.
Although the Jacks lose 1,000 point scorer Ashley Eide, along with Katie Lingle and Leah Dietel, they bring back Gabby Boever, Megan Waytashek, and several talented underclassmen to go with another promising recruiting class.
I think we have a good team next year, good recruits as well that can help us fill some spots. I think one thing we're looking for is making that next step for our program," said SDSU junior Tara Heiser.
If SDSU returns to the NCAA Tournament for a sixth straight time next year, they figure to do it in a tougher Summit League. IUPUI, who swept them this season, figures to contend again, and now their arch rivals, the South Dakota Coyotes, are also on the rise. But perhaps tougher competition in the Summit League will prepare SDSU for tougher competition in the Big Dance.