Lady Hardrockers hope to continue program momentum

RAPID CITY, S.D. – After months of uncertainty, the South Dakota Mines women’s basketball team is set to tip off the season on Friday, Dec. 4 in Colorado.

The Hardrockers are looking to build on the success they had last season, finishing 15-12 overall and qualifying for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Playoffs.

South Dakota Mines lost four seniors to graduation including Anna Haugen who averaged nearly 11 points per game.

But the Hardrockers return several key players.

Pacing the way will be Ryan Weiss who led the team in scoring last year with 16.9 points per game.

Also returning is Melissa Johnstone, Naomi Hidalgo and Michaela Shaklee.

“So it’s nice to have them coming back with the experience and being familiar with RMAC play,” SD Mines women’s baskeball coach Jeri Jacobson said. “We also have Anna Combalia, our point guard from last year. She’s back and has been playing really well. So we’re excited about those players. Then we’re also really excited about our newcomers because like I said, we went out and tried to recruit people who are going to fill a bunch of those voids.”

South Dakota Mines also welcomes a pair of transfers to the women’s basketball program.

Former Rapid City Central standouts Juneau Jones and Bailey Johnson.

“We’re really excited about bringing Bailey and Juneau home,” Jacobson said. “They had tremendous careers at Casper College. One of the things that they bring is they’re both tenacious defenders and that’s something we lacked at times last year. So we’re really excited to have that piece to our team this year.”

The Hardrockers open the season on Friday, Dec. 4 at the Colorado School of Mines followed by a game on Saturday at Regis University.

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