The South Dakota State women and University of South Dakota men were picked as the favorites in the Summit League Preseason Baseball Polls released Tuesday.
Preseason honors are voted on by a group comprised of the league's coaches, sports information directors and select media.
The South Dakota women received 20 of the 38 first-place votes and tallied 712 points to top the poll. South Dakota State was second with the other 18 first-place votes and 672 points. Kansas City was third.
SDSU seniors Hannah Sjerven and Chloe Lamb were both named to the first team and Liv Korngable was named to the second team.
South Dakota won the 2021 Summit League Tournament in convincing fashion, winning all three games by more than 20 points and earned the program's third-straight NCAA Tournament berth. USD has won the last two Summit League Tournaments and four of the last seven Summit regular season titles.
Sjerven's career accolades include finishing as a finalist for the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, two Summit League Defensive Player of the Year nods, the 2020 Summit Tournament MVP, three all-tournament team honors, two all-Summit first team and one honorable mention recognition. She averaged 17.1 points, 9.8 boards and 2.2 blocks per game last year. She set USD's school record for single-season field-goal percentage (.581) in 2019-20, ranks second for career blocks (181) and is one of 17 Coyotes with more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
People are also reading…
Lamb, a native of Onida, was picked to the first team. She was the 2021 Summit League Tournament MVP, garnered all-league recognition for the third-straight year and earned academic all-league honors. She averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor last season. She was the Summit's top 3-point shooter, draining 61 3s at a 43.3 percent clip behind the arc. On USD's top-10 lists, Lamb ranks 10th for career scoring (1,331 points) and sixth for 3s made (187).
Korngable garnered all-Summit League second team and all-tournament honors a year ago after a breakout senior season. She averaged 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field a year ago.
Ten of the 11 spots on the women's preseason teams were identical to the end-of-season 2021 all-Summit League teams. All six of the women on last year's first team return and were picked to the first team again.
Myah Selland was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year for South Dakota State and is joined on the first team by Paiton Burckhard and Tylee Irwin.
Selland was named the 2020-21 Summit League Player of the Year last season after pacing the Jackrabbits and the League with 19.2 points per game, including 19.5 points per game in Summit League action. The Letcher, S.D. native ranked third in assists per game (3.8), field goal percentage (.515) and assist/turnover ratio (1/5). Selland scored 15-plus points in 19 games and 20-plus points on six occasions. Selland was a WBCA All-American Honorable Mention and a finalist for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year award in 2020-21. She was named Summit League Player of the Week six times. This is Selland's fourth consecutive Preseason All-Summit League honor.
Burckhard picked up her second consecutive Preseason First Team honor and was selected to the Summit League First Team in 2020 and 2021. She started all 25 contests for the Jacks a season ago and ranked second on the team with 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
Irwin is a three-time preseason honoree for the Summit League. She was named to the All-Summit First Team last season, averaging 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal and led the team with 17 blocks on the year. Irwin scored in double figures on 16 occasions in 2020-21.
In the men's preseason poll, SDSU received 23 of 36 first-place votes and 636 points in the poll, while North Dakota State was picked second with 606 points and Oral Roberts third with 545 points and South Dakota fourth with 480 points.
The Jackrabbits have won at least a share of the Summit League regular season title in each of the last four seasons. SDSU finished alone atop the standings after going 16-7 (9-3 Summit) in 2020-21, head coach Eric Henderson's second year at the helm of the program.
Three Jackrabbits also earned preseason All-Summit League recognition in Baylor Scheierman and Douglas Wilson on the first team and Noah Freidel on the second team.
Scheierman, a 2020-21 All-Summit League First Team selection, became one of two players in SDSU's Division I history to lead the team in points (355), assists (91), rebounds (212) and steals (24) in a single season.
Wilson, an All-Summit League Second Team honoree last season, averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19 games in 2020-21. He finished the year second in the conference in field goal percentage after shooting .508 from the floor. Wilson was also the 2019-20 Summit League Player of the Year.
Freidel, the 2019-20 Summit League Freshman of the Year, averaged 16.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 14 games last season. The Tea native shot 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. Freidel was second on the team in three-pointers (38) and fifth in scoring (224).
South Dakota senior guard Xavier Fuller and junior forward Tasos Kamateros have been voted to the second team.
Fuller earned all-Summit League honorable mention honors in his first season as a Yote in 2020-21. The Mesa, Arizona, native entered the starting lineup in December and started the rest of the season. Fuller finished the season third on the team in scoring with 8.9 points per game.
Kamateros played in all 25 games and started in 20 last season. He made a big leap from his freshman season to his sophomore season averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year. He shot 52.1 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from deep and 76.5 from the line.