The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, November 17, at the Neuharth Media Center on the campus of USD. President David Lorenz opened the meeting and led us in the invocation and recitation of the Rotary 4-Way Test. This was followed by a round of singing, introduction of guests including four Vermillion High School seniors, and announcements.
Rotarian David Herbster introduced Coach Ryan Williams as our speaker for the day. Coach Williams is the head women's basketball coach at the University of South Dakota. Rotarian Herbster stated that Coach Williams is an outstanding coach, teacher, and ambassador for USD.
Coach Williams said that he is starting his second year at USD. He began by saying that the USD Women's Basketball program is in the second year of a transition from Division II to Division I. Because of this, it is difficult to get established teams to come to Vermillion for home games, but this will change next year.
He also stated that with just three returning players it would be an interesting year. He said the defense is good even at this early stage.
The season opener was last Wednesday in Sioux Falls against the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. He also said that this was an interesting introduction to Division I because Green Bay is a very good team. They had been in post-season play the last 12 years.
He said that being in the Great West Conference is challenging because of the amount of travel involved and that they will be playing some really good teams around the country.
He gave us some example of the personnel. Amber Hegge was red-shirted last year. She is feeling a lot of pressure on both defense and offense but she is an amazing athlete. Jasmine Moseley is also a very good athlete and has a good work ethic. Annie Roche is the hardest working player and probably the best shooter. Case and Heibert both sat out last year because of transfers. He said the whole team are really great pieces of the puzzle but are not quite working well together yet. He said this would be a great team later this year.
Coach Williams also mentioned that they signed three great players last week including probably the best player in South Dakota.
He is very excited about this team. He said they are very good students, great players and hard workers. He added that he really loves coaching this group of players.