VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Chloe Lamb, Liv Korngable, Monica Arens and Claudia Kunzer all enrolled at USD immediately after high school, while Hannah Sjerven transferred in following her freshman year of college. Now in their senior season, the five will leave USD as one of the most accomplished classes, having won 2 regular season conference championships, a Summit League Tournament title and qualified for 2 NCAA Tournaments.
As soon as USD’s seniors stepped on campus, the connection between the five was instantaneous.
“I give a shoutout to Coach P and to our coaches for recruiting people who are skilled and can help us win, but also who are going to flow well together, and get to know each other, and enjoy each other’s presences,” Senior Guard Liv Korngable said.
The pandemic brought all sorts of challenges and a reward, too.
“Last year we didn’t understand was such a valuable thing to get that off the court time. But practices, I think we do a good job of bringing energy and excitement. It just makes playing together that much more fun,” Senior Forward Hannah Sjerven said.
Each one has their specific role, whether that’s contributing on the stat sheet, or as Monica Arens has had to learn, leadership when you’re not able to play.
“I feel like people think we’re a tough team, and I think that comes from Monica. Regardless of if she’s playing or not, she gives us her past performances, gives us that extra toughness,” Korngable said.
Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit credits her five seniors with helping guide the team through all the uncertainty that the last year has produced.
“To have the leaders in your program be fun-loving, be joyful, is really, really important. It’s really crucial for us,” Plitzuweit said.
The five have been part of 103 wins heading into the conference tournament, and they plan on enjoying every last game they get to play.
“Because we are so unsure of what the future is for all of us, we’re really looking forward to knowing this will be for sure a weekend that we’ll all have together, and looking forward to it,” Senior Guard Chloe Lamb said.
With every player receiving an extra year of eligibility this season, Chloe Lamb and Liv Korngable have announced they’re both planning on returning to play next year, while the other three haven’t yet made their official decisions.