University of South Dakota senior basketball player Hannah Sjerven and sophomore swimmer Zachary Kopp have been named South Dakota Athletes of the Year.

It marks the second year in a row that the Catie Tobin Female Athlete of the Year comes from Coyotes head coach Dawn Plitzuweit’s program. Sjerven led the Coyotes to a 19-6 record capped by a Summit League Tournament title and the program’s third NCAA tournament appearance. She led the team with averages of 17.1 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting better than 52 percent from the field.

Sjerven, a native of Rogers and former Rogers High School basketball player, was named Summit League Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after leading the league in blocks and ranking fourth in steals. She earned first-team all-Summit League accolades for the second time in as many seasons and was a finalist for Mid-Major Player of the Year. Highlighting her resume was a 31-point, 21-rebound performance in a road win at Bradley in mid-December.

Kopp, a native of Otsego and former Elk River High School swimmer, is one of three brothers who have competed in Coyotes head coach Jason Mahowald’s program.

Kopp becomes the first known representative from the swimming and diving program to be named the John Van Why Male Athlete of the Year since the late 1990s. Kopp was named Summit League Men’s Swimmer of the Year and Men’s Swimmer of the Championships after leading the Coyotes to their first Summit League title back in April. He won five gold medals, two individual and three as a relay member, at the meet held in Fargo, North Dakota.

Kopp won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke at the Summit League Championship Meet. He was also a member of the first-place finishing 200-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay teams. He added more points to the team tally with a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle.

The news was announced June 25 in a digital version of The Charlies, the athletic department’s annual award ceremony.

Load comments