Hermsen named volleyball coach Kaaren Hermsen (pronounced car-in), the head volleyball coach at Chadron (NE) State for the past two years, has been named the head volleyball coach at The University of South Dakota, according to newly named USD Athletic Director Kelly Higgins. Hermsen's appointment is subject to the approval of the South Dakota Board of Regents.
"Kaaren is a great addition to an already excellent coaching staff and I'm sure the students will feel the same way," stated Higgins. "Kaaren came in and did a very nice job turning the program around at Chadron State. With her positive outlook and enthusiastic nature I'm very confident she will re-invigorate our program. She has a great belief in an athlete's ability to succeed."
The three veterans returning to the USD team this year, are senior Nikki Daggitt (Sioux Falls, SD), junior Lisa Roberts (Elkhorn, NE) and sophomore Brooke Lundine (Casper, WY). Daggitt, a 6-0 middle hitter, ranks third all-time in kills with 828. Last year she paced the Coyotes with 339 kills and 101 blocks, while ranking sixth in digs (153) and third in service aces (32). Roberts, a 5-8 setter, collected 1,247 setting assists a year ago, while notching 179 digs and 26 service aces. In career numbers, Roberts ranks second all-time with 2,283 and she owns the best assists per game ratio with 9.39. Lundine, a 6-0 middle hitter, finished with 142 kills and 182 digs.
The Coyotes will be a young team with 6-2 sophomore Megan Thompson (Rapid City, SD) the only other player returning with experience on the 13-member squad.
"My first goal is to establish stability and trust," said Hermsen. "Without that you can't talk about wins and losses. We have a very young team that has to learn how to play as a team. Our two seniors will play a very big role and provide leadership. The girls are all positive and anxious for the season to start."
Senior Jennifer Cholensky (Wheatland, WY), a 5-10 outside hitter, last played in 1995. Remaining squad members are: sophomores Tiffany Davis, 5-7 (Haywarden, IA), Maureen Steinley, 5-11 (Rush Lake, Canada); freshmen Rachael Daggitt, 5-7 (Sioux Falls, SD), Jennifer Iacarella, 5-8 (Colorado Springs, CO), Carrie Kozlowski, 5-6 (Frontier, Canada), Stacy Stuhr, 5-9 (Atkinson, NE), Maggie Tomasek, 5-7 (Omaha, NE) and Windy Wilson, 5-9 (Longview, TX). Davis earned all-NCC honors as a catcher on The USD softball team last year.