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Rapid City Stevens seniors Dawson Paulsen, Ashley Lundstrom and Dylan Pourier signed national letters of intent to play college sports next year. Paulsen will play men’s basketball at Black Hills State University, Lundstrom will play women’s tennis at Colorado Mesa University and Pourier will join the men’s basketball team at Dakota Wesleyan University next season.

Dylan Pourier and Dawson Paulsen from the Rapid City Stevens boys basketball team and Ashley Lundstrom from the Raiders’ girls tennis team each signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to play their respective sports at the collegiate level next season.

Pourier, point guard for Stevens’ during the 2018-19 season, will play for Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, while Paulsen will head up I-90 and suit up for Black Hills State University in Spearfish. Lundstrom will take the court for Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo. 

Lundstrom to join young CMU squad

The Mavericks are fairly young — CMU had three freshmen and two sophomore on its 2018-19 roster — meaning Lundstrom will likely step right in and play during her first year of collegiate tennis at the Division II level.

“I had a few Division III schools recruiting me,” Lundstrom said. “But I’m really happy to commit to a Division II school that I wanted and the competition at that level. I hope to make their travel team next year.”

Lundstrom went 56-10 in singles and 53-14 in doubles over two varsity seasons with the Raiders, who finished third as a team at the state tournament in 2017 and as state team runner-up in 2018.

The Mavericks graduated four off their 2018-19  team that went 8-17 in duals and 1-2 in RMAC play, including three of the four winningest players in CMU women’s tennis history — Emily Buckley (No. 1, 56 wins), Taylor Hershey (No. 2, 54 wins) and Georgia Hansen (No. 4, 32 wins). 

“The campus is pretty modern, they're moving up conferences next year and it’s not too far away,” Lundstrom said.

Pourier headed to DWU

Pourier finds himself in a great learning situation as he heads to Mitchell to play at Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers return a pair of NAIA All-American guards in Ty Hoglund, a first-team All-American, and Nick Harden, who was named to the honorable mention squad.

Pourier said he welcomes the opportunity to play behind Hoglund, one of the best guards at the NAIA Division II level. Hoglund averaged 26.3 points per game for a DWU team that scored at an 87.0 points-per-game clip in 2018-19.

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“Everybody knows Ty, and he's the guy,” Pourier said. “I'm looking forward to learning from him, how he plays his game and learning the leadership role that he's in.”

Pourier, a 6-foot point guard, averaged 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game during the 2018-19 campaign, his lone season at Stevens. He also played three varsity seasons at Douglas High School.

“I had a few schools on the east side of the river recruit me,” Pourier said. “But Dakota Wesleyan really stood out to me the most.”

Dakota Wesleyan, 23-10 last season and a NAIA Division II national tournament qualifier for the fifth straight season, is poised for a strong 2019-20 campaign. Four starters — Hoglund, Harden, Stevens graduate Sam McCloud and Collin Kramer — are eligible to return from last season’s team. Hoglund, McCloud and Kramer will all be seniors next year, while Harden heads into his junior season.

BH-bound Paulsen overcomes adversity

Paulsen has had a tough road leading up to signing to play at the collegiate level at Black Hills State.

The 6-3 Paulsen tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as a freshman and then suffered the same injury on the same knee just eight games into his senior season. A solid junior campaign and a strong start to the 2018-19 season positioned Paulsen well to take his game to Black Hills State.

“It's just really cool to see all my hard work now has finally paid off,” Paulsen said. “But also to see that they believe in me and still want me and want to help me develop and continue my path.

Paulsen, who will likely play shooting guard or small forward at BHSU, averaged 10.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as a junior. His senior season was off to a strong start before his ACL tear. He averaged 14.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game through eight contests before getting hurt.

“My junior year and also the beginning of his senior year, I think I proved myself and showed that I can plan at the next level,” Paulsen said. “Whatever they want from me, I'll do it to the best of my ability.”

The Yellow Jackets graduated three players off a team that went 18-11, the most wins a BHSU men’s team has posted since 2010-11, and reached the title game of the RMAC men’s tournament before falling to New Mexico Highlands.

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