Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
Our own version of "March Madness" has hit the Athletic Department at Valley City State University. For the first time ever, both the VCSU men's and women's basketball teams have qualified for the NAIA national tournament in the same season. Among the approximately 130 colleges and universities competing at the NAIA Division II level, VCSU is one of only 11 institutions this year to have both the men's and women's teams qualify for the National Tournament. This puts Viking Basketball in some elite company among the top 10% nationally.

The Women's team currently has an overall 24-7 record for the 2012-13 season. The 24 victories are an all-time record for the most wins in a single season for VCSU women's basketball. This year's playoffs also represent the third-consecutive appearance at the National Tournament for the team. The VCSU women will be one of only 11 teams in the 32-team field this year with three straight appearances in the tournament. VCSU women's basketball is now clearly recognized as a national contender competing at the very highest level within our division.

The men's basketball team is currently 21-8 for the season, and this year marks the fourth time in the past six years the team has reached the 20-win milestone; the past two seasons also represent the first time with back-to-back 20-win campaigns. VCSU's berth in the national tournament is the first time the men's team has advanced to the national playoffs in the 22 years of the current post-season format. The 2012-13 season is undoubtedly a historic benchmark for men's basketball at VCSU.

The credit for the success of these programs is due to the hard work, commitment, and dedication of the players and coaches. VCSU is fortunate in that both programs are led by veteran coaches with strong track records both on- and off-the-court. Coach Jill DeVries has led the women's program at VCSU for 14 seasons, and is currently in second-place on the all-time coaching victories list for women's basketball at VCSU. Jill is a native of Glyndon, Minn., and is a graduate of NDSU and member of its Athletic Hall of Fame. Coach DeVries is assisted by Lavesa Glover. The team is also fortunate to be led by three outstanding seniors this year: Katelyn Ralston, Courtney Titus, and Alyssa Hummel.

Coach Jeff Kaminsky has led the men's program at VCSU for the past eight seasons and currently stands in second-place in all-time wins behind the legendary Bill Osmon. Coach Kaminsky also recorded his 400th career victory as a coach earlier this year (133 of those coming at VCSU). Jeff is a native of Illinois and graduated from Grand Valley State (Mich.). He is assisted by Nathan Stover, Matt Karlgaard, and student-assistant Karl Sorby. The team is led by a talented group of seniors: Dillan Ostrom, Gus Kueber, Sekani Milligen, Patrick Rogers, and John Raquel.

A big word of thanks to all the fans, community members, and sponsors who have supported these two programs throughout the year and attended games at Osmon Fieldhouse (or on the road). We wish both programs all the best this week in Point Lookout, Mo. (men) and Sioux City, Iowa (women) as they represent Valley City State University in the national tournaments. Go Vikings!