Before the WNIT Championship on Saturday, four senior Jackrabbits knew they were playing in their final collegiate game.
It was evident in the opening minutes of the match that this would be the memorable send off they all deserved. Supported by 5,263 fans at Frost Arena, South Dakota State University crushed Seton Hall to claim an 82-50 win over the Pirates in the most lopsided championship game in tournament history.
And with that came a fitting send off for Haley Greer, Tylee Irwin, Addison Hirschman and Lauren Rongisch, all of whom saw their Jackrabbit careers come to an end that day.
So, the college editorial board would like to thank these four senior women’s basketball players for their time and dedication to SDSU women’s basketball.
Towards the end of the match, Greer, Irwin, Hirschman and Rongisch all spoke with WNIT tournament MVP Myah Selland. Coach Aaron Johnston then pulled the four seniors off for a standing ovation as they left the pitch for the final time.
What a perfect way to end your college basketball career – a standing ovation in front of your local fans en route to celebrating a championship.
It was a fitting ending for them considering the disappointment they felt after losing to USD in the Summit League Championship and losing a bid for the NCAA Tournament.
Despite that devastating loss to the Coyotes, the Jackrabbits received an invite to WNIT and a chance to salvage the season and give the seniors their proper send-off.
They did not disappoint, playing every game at Frost Arena and winning their first championship since joining Division I.
“To be able to finish with a home win, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending,” Irwin said after Saturday’s game. “I just can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else than I am right now. I have no regrets.”
Irwin played 28 minutes in his last game, scoring seven points with six rebounds and three assists. And with 7:34 left in the game, the Wahpeton, ND native hit a 3-pointer, the last three of his 1,379 career points, which is 18th on Jackrabbit’s scoring list. all time.
Greer played two seasons at SDSU after transferring from Colgate and was an important player who, along with Hirschman and Rongisch, provided key leadership and experience to the team.
The Collegian and SDSU as a whole are proud of the accomplishments of these four women and look forward to what they will accomplish in the future.