Standouts: M State athletes Jordan Kern (left to right), Katie Merrick, Sydney Hovland and Matt Pietsch were honored at the annual sports banquet Monday, April 29.

Sydney Hovland of Underwood and Matt Pietsch of Fargo have been named Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Student Athletes of the Year for their excellence in the classroom and athletics.

Hovland and Pietsch, both second-year students on M State’s Fergus Falls campus, were honored during M State’s 46th annual All Sports Banquet at the Pebble Lake Golf Club on Monday, April 29.

Recognized with coaches awards were Katie Merrick of Elbow Lake and Jordan Kern of Wadena.

Hovland participated in volleyball and basketball this year for the Spartans. Her volleyball season highlights included MCAC All-Southern Division second team; MCAC Fall All-Academic team; and MCAC Setter of the Week in Week 6 for her 42 set assists in a match with Ridgewater College. She ended the season with 762 assists, 245 digs, 120 kills and 30 service aces.

On the basketball court she was selected as Southern Division Player of the Week; MCAC Southern Division first team; All State first Team and All Region. For the season, she scored 434 points and made 145 rebounds.

Pietsch currently leads the Spartan baseball team in average, hits, RBI, doubles, triples and runs scored. He is eight hits short of the century mark, an accomplishment not reached in Spartan baseball for the past 13 years. He was selected for both the 2018 MCAC All State team and the All Region 12 team.

The Spartan Coaches Awards are given to athletes who exemplify the high standards expected of Spartan athletes. Merrick, a graduate of West Central High School, has been active in Spartan volleyball for two years and softball for one year.

Kern was honored with the Coaches Award for the second consecutive year. The Wadena-Deer Creek High School graduate will be competing with the M State golf team at the NJCAA National Tournament in June.


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