USD's Mitchell named player to watch

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- South Dakota junior midfield Alexis Mitchell has been named a player to watch by Summit League coaches the league announced Monday.

Mitchell, hailing from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, started all 18 games a season ago in the midfield. She totaled five points on three assists and a goal scored while placing 75 percent of her shots on goal.

The Coyotes were picked to fifth in the coaches preseason poll that was released on Monday. USD, which went 9-7-2 last season and 4-4-0 in the Summit, received 37 points.

Denver was picked to win the Summit with seven first-place votes and 63 points. South Dakota State was picked second with two first-place votes and 57 points. North Dakota State was picked third and Omaha fourth.

The Coyotes open their season with a pair of home games, first a 4 p.m. contest on Friday, Aug. 23, against Idaho State. On Sunday, August 25, USD hosts Utah State at First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex.

WSC picked 4th in volleyball poll

Wayne State is listed fourth in the 2019 NSIC Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll released Monday morning. Junior middle blocker Jaci Brahmer was selected as the Wildcat Player to Watch in the NSIC this season.

The Wildcats collected 178 points in voting conducted by league coaches. WSC returns five starters and its libero from last year’s team that was 22-9 overall and sixth in the NSIC with a 13-7 league mark.

Northern State won a close vote over Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth as the preseason favorite in the NSIC this season. NSU received six first-place votes and 209 points while both Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth tied for second with 203 points with CSP receiving five first-place tallies compared to four for UMD. WSC came in fourth with Southwest Minnesota State taking fifth at 170 points and the remaining first-place vote.

Minnesota State was sixth (146) followed by Winona State (135), St. Cloud State (126), Upper Iowa (125) and Sioux Falls (114) concluding the top 10. Rounding out the coaches poll were Augustana (78), MSU Moorhead (76), Bemidji State (43), Minot State (42), Minnesota Crookston (38) and University of Mary (34).

Brahmer, a 6-1 junior from Pierce (Pierce HS), earned Second Team All-NSIC for a second straight season last year after averaging 2.29 kills and 1.16 blocks per set. She tied for first in the NSIC in blocks per set and led the Wildcats in attack percentage for a second straight season (.307).

Wayne State is scheduled to open the 2019 season on Friday, September 6th vs. Cameron (Okla.) at the Missouri Southern Tournament in Joplin, Missouri.

USD releases XC schedule

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Early looks at the Summit League Championships and NCAA Midwest Regional courses along with a pair of regional meets highlight the 2019 South Dakota cross country slate announced Tuesday by USD head coach Dan Fitzsimmons.

The Coyotes open the year with North Dakota State’s Bison Open on Aug. 30 in Fargo, North Dakota. It will serve as an early look of the Summit League Championships course later in the year. South Dakota returns to the Bison Open for the first time since 2015.

South Dakota races under the lights the following week, Sept. 6, at the Augustana Twilight held at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. USD’s women have won the meet four out of the last five years.

USD heads back to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the Woody Greeno Invitational on Sept. 21. The Coyote women have taken home the gold at the Big Ten meet two out of the past three years.

The Coyotes will make their debut appearance at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree on Oct. 5 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It will give USD its first look at the OSU Cross Country Course ahead of the NCAA Midwest Regional.

The regular season will wrap up on Oct. 18 as South Dakota returns to the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois. The Coyote women finished runner-up at the meet a year ago.

South Dakota’s women look for their sixth consecutive Summit League title on Nov. 2. The meet returns to Rose Creek Course in Fargo, the site where the Coyotes’ streak began in 2014.

The Coyotes toe the line for the NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Nov. 15.

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