There is excitement in the air as the start of the collegiate basketball season is upon the city of Sioux Falls. The start of the basketball season marks a fresh start for collegiate teams and all of their championship aspirations: the University of Sioux Falls women's basketball program is no different. The lady Cougars are excited to start the new season and ready to make headway in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

The lady Cougars are coming off of a mixed season that ended up yielding very promising potential as they ended the 2014-15 season with a 17-10 overall record. That 17-10 overall record is slightly deceiving however, as the lady Cougars went 13-9 in conference play. It may not seem like a lot to an outsider but a 13-9 record in a tough conference like the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference is no small accomplishment. Plus, when you take a look at the game by game record, there were several losses by six points or less that could have easily turned into wins and the Cougars could have had a significantly different record.

This year the lady Cougars look to overcome last season's faults with a well-balanced team that is ready to not just win, but succeed on every level. The Cougars bring back seasoned scoring and bring in a new crop of young talent.
"We have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young players on our team this season," stated coach Traphagen. "We return a great scoring nucleus of Sam Knecht, Marie Malloy, Teagan Molden and Taylor Varsho," continued coach Traphagen.

The lady Cougars will indeed bring a rather prolific scoring attack to the table as they bring back the fourth best scoring offense in the conference from last year which includes their leading scorer Taylor Varsho. Last year Varsho posted 356 points which lead the Cougars and ranked 17th in individual scoring in the entire conference.

This team now has one of the best strengths a team can have in veteran leadership and scoring which seemed to be the only thing holding the lady Cougars back last season as they just couldn't close out games consistently.
"Last season we had a number of games that we didn't do a good job of closing out," stated Coach Travis Traphagen.

This year's lady Cougars are not simply a well balanced offense but a well-balanced team overall. As coach Traphagen alluded to earlier, the team is bringing back a great nucleus of players that also have great talent on the defensive side of things. Last season the lady Cougars ended up with the 5th best scoring defense in the entire Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference giving up the third fewest points.

Such a well-balanced team that now has that coveted veteran flare makes the University of Sioux Falls women's basketball team a major player in the NSIC this year. The pre-season poles rank the lady Cougars at 3rd overall in the conference and for good reason. Normally pre-season poles don't carry too much weight but this year just may be different.

“We have a fairly athletic group of players and could probably be described within our NSIC coaching peers as a balanced team. We do shoot a lot of three point shots, but also have very good post players. We have a lot of compliments to our team making it difficult for other teams to pick what to take away,” coach Traphagen described.

This season will be an exciting season for the lady Cougars and one which will show just how far the team has progressed.

"We have a chance to build from our mistakes and succeed the way we are capable of," coach Traphagen stated.

There's not just writing on the wall in Sioux Falls, but there is successful writing on the walls for the University of Sioux Falls women's basketball team. If the past is any indication of what is to come, the rest of the NSIC better look out because here come the lady Cougars, and make no mistake, they are in it to win it.