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Catching up with former area athletes: Four area players guide Dakota State University into NAIA Round of 16

Four former area girls basketball players and the Dakota State University women’s basketball team continued its record-breaking season today.

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Dakota State University's Courtney Menning attacks the basket earlier this season for the Trojans. (Cody Welu / Dakota State University Athletics Photo)
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Four former area girls basketball players and the Dakota State University women’s basketball team continued its record-breaking season today. The Trojans have advanced to the NAIA Round of 16 in Sioux City, Iowa. The Round of 16 kicks off on Thursday and continues through Saturday with the Elite Eight round on Saturday, Final Four round on Monday and the national championship game on Tuesday evening.

It will be the first time since 2008 that the Trojans played at the Tyson Events Center, where they played in the Round of 16. The Trojans, who are riding a 22-game winning streak, take on No. 9-ranked Sterling (Kan.) at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Morgan Koepsell (McCook Central/Montrose), Courtney Menning (Corsica-Stickney), Cheylee Nagel (Avon) and Morgan Huber (Hanson) are members of the Trojans.

Koespell averages 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The junior center was an honorable mention all-conference selection this season. She leads Dakota State in field-goal percentage at 55.4% this season.

Menning has started 24 of the 29 games this season. The sophomore guard averages 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. She’s also tops on the team in assists (3.7) and steals (2.6) per game.

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Nagel, a junior guard, is averaging 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Huber, a freshman guard, is scoring 3.5 points per game.

Cooney, USF capture Hillcat Classic

Pickstown native JJ Cooney registered a top-five finish and the University of Sioux Falls men’s golf team captured the Hillcat Classic on Tuesday at the Bailey Ranch Golf Club in Owasso, Oklahoma.

The Cougars registered a first-place total of 889 (301-298-290) as they improved their round scores each day. Cooney, who finished with 10 birdies, an eagle on hole nine (first round) and 31 par holes, had a season-best finish as he tied for third with a two-over 218 (76-72-70). The three-time all-NSIC senior improved his round each day with his 70 his best of the young season. In that final round 70, Cooney had four birdies and 12 pars as he opened with an even par 36 and closed with a two-under 34.

Brewster, SD Mines start spring season

Mitchell High School graduate Chelsea Brewster and the South Dakota School of Mines volleyball team recently kicked off their spring season. The Hardrockers are 3-8 overall and 3-6 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action.

Mines recently dropped a five-set match against Montana State University-Billings. Brewster logged 10 kills and 15 digs in the loss. This season, Brewster has recorded 52 kills and has played in 10 of the team’s 11 matches.

Mines plays at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Thursday.

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