Hardrocker Women's Basketball add 3 for 2015-16 season


  RAPID CITY, S.D. --- The South Dakota School of Mines women’s basketball program’s season may just be getting underway for the 2014-15 season, but the coaching staff is already looking toward the future as the Hardrockers have signed three recruits for the 2015-16 year.

SD Mines women’s basketball head coach Ryan Larsen is pleased to announce the signings of Taylor Molstad, Marissa Hirchert and Emily Vandegrift as the newest Lady Hardrockers for next year.


Taylor Molstad (5-10 guard from Rapid City, SD)

Molstad will join the Hardrockers as a 5-foot-10-inch guard from Rapid City, S.D., and played her high school ball at Rapid City Stevens where she was a three-year starter averaging 10.4 points per game and was a 77 percent free throw shooter.

“Taylor is a very talented player that is a great local recruit for the Hardrocker women’s basketball program,” Larsen said. “Taylor is an explosive athlete that can score in a variety of ways. She has the ability to be a dynamic scorer for us in the future.” 

Molstad is a three-year letter winner in basketball and volleyball, a two-year letter winner in track and qualified for the South Dakota Class AA Track Meet as a high jumper the past two years.

“Taylor has been extremely well coached both at the high school and AAU level for basketball. We are very excited that Taylor has chosen to stay in Rapid City to receive a world class education and to play for the Hardrockers,” Larsen said.

“The School of Mines has a national reputation academically and will provide me with a solid foundation for my post-graduate work in physical therapy,” Molstad said. “I’m excited to represent the Hardrocker basketball program as we enter the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.”

Molstad plans to study Applied Biological Science while at SD Mines.


Marissa Hirchert (6-2 forward from Rapid City, SD)

Hirchert also plays high school basketball at Rapid City Stevens as a 6-2 forward. She was a four-year varsity player who was voted most improved player as a junior. Hirchert helped the RCS Raiders win district championships in 2012 and 2014.

“Marissa is the ideal post player that we recruit to play in our program,” Larsen said. “Marissa has great length and scores both on the block and from the arc. She also has the ability to influence games with rebounding and altering shots.”

Hirchert also excelled in the offseason playing on an AAU hoops team which won tournaments in Colorado, Minnesota and South Dakota.

“Marissa impressed us more and more every time we watched her with her high school team and AAU team.  We couldn’t be happier that Marissa has decided to remain in Rapid City to further her education and to compete for the Hardrockers,” Larsen said.

“I am excited to be a Hardrocker, not only because I will be getting to play for a great NCAA Div. II team in my hometown, but I will also be getting to play for a coaching staff that I respect and admire,” Hirchert said. “I also know that I will be receiving a phenomenal education which will go a long way in helping me to get accepted into dental school.”

While at SD Mines, Hirchert will major in Applied Biological Science.

 Emily wbb recuit

Emily Vandegrift (6-0 forward from Lake Stevens, Wash.)

Vandegrift, a 6-0 forward, comes to South Dakota Mines from Lake Stevens, Wash., where she played high school basketball for the Lake Stevens Vikings. She earned All-League honorable mention in both volleyball and basketball and helped her team to a fifth-place finish last year in the 2013 state tournament in 2013.

“Emily is a terrific athlete that will have an impact on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor,” Larsen said. “Emily has terrific speed and agility for a post player -- those physical attributes fit perfectly with how we like to play.  Emily plays for a very good high school program and one of the most respected AAU programs on the West Coast.  We are thrilled that Emily has decided to study at SDSM&T and to join the Hardrockers women’s basketball program.”

While at SD Mines, Vandegrift plans to pursue a Civil Engineering major.

“I am proud to be a Hardrocker because it is a great team with great coaches,” Vandegrift said. “They strive to be a part of each athlete’s life and make them a better student and player. I am proud to be a member of the family environment that is created at South Dakota Mines and the Hardrocker women’s basketball team. I can’t wait to start and look forward to the upcoming years.” 


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