National Girls & Women in Sport Day Honors Conclude

National Girls & Women in Sport Day Honors Conclude

Winona, MN

Wednesday, February 5, marks National Girls and Women in Sport Day across the United States and the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) seeks to support this important event. 

With 24 member colleges forming the ranks of the MCAC, the league is recognizing standouts from each college to celebrate the work that has been done in women's sports and the opportunities to improve in the months and years ahead.  Beginning Monday, February 3 and ending on Wednesay, February 2/5 the MCAC will highlight eight campus leaders per day in an effort to draw attention to student-athletes, coaches and administrators advancing women in NJCAA sports environments.

Read on for eight more profiles of folks who contribute to their women's sport communities in the MCAC.  The MCAC is proud to highlight one person from each of the 24 MCAC campuses in support of NGWSD, 2020.

The first MCAC release, posted Monday, February 3, is available at:

Tuesday's MCAC release, posted Tuesday, February 4, is available at:

Our apologies to all great student-athletes, coaches and administrators not specifically mentioned in this list. Please accept our picks as a representation of the strong culture of those in sport who are making a difference in our MCAC communities in women's athletics.


Dr. Carrie Brimhall


Athletic programs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College have a strong advocate in Dr. Carrie Brimhall, who was appointed as president on July 1, 2018.

Dr. Brimhall is a first-generation student and a graduate of M State, and has built a reputation as a leader with a vision for the future of higher education and community colleges, and as a champion for the missions of community and technical colleges.

Fans, families and followers of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference note the long and successful tradition of M State athletics. Most recently,  the Spartans were proud to recognize Sydney Hovland, who was named to the NJCAA Division III Volleyball All-America Team in 2019, while competing for accomplished head coach Abby Crowser. 

No stranger to the Spartan Athletic program, Dr. Brimhall has served M State continuously for approximately 20 years as director(s) of housing, admissions, recruitment, and retention from 1998 until 2008; as dean of enrollment from 2008 until 2011; as interim provost from 2011 until 2012; as associate vice president of Academic and Student Affairs from 2012 to 2014; and most recently as chief academic officer and vice president of Academic Affairs since 2014. 

She holds an associate degree from M State, a bachelor's degree from Concordia College, and a master's and a doctorate from Capella University. 

To learn more about Spartan Athletics at Minnesota State, go to:


Laura Sylvester

Coach / Administrator


Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College veteran staff member Laura Sylvester pulls double-duty for the Thunder Athletic Department. 

As the athletic coordinator,  Laura Sylvester oversees an athletic department of four sports programs, football and basketball for men and volleyball and basketball for women. She is responsible for game-day set up, administrative tasks and post-game duties; the FDLTCC programs began in 2007. 

As a head coach, Sylvester leads the Thunder Volleyball team which competes in the 16-team Minnesota Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) and is one of eight volleyball teams in Northern Division. The MCAC is recognized as one of the strongest NJCAA Division III conferences in the nation and advances two volleyball programs to the national tournament each fall. 

Coach Laura Sylvester provided these thoughts after the team's final match of the 2019 season: "As our Thunder volleyball season comes to a close, I smile thinking about how enjoyable this season was! This is a great group of young women who worked hard together and lifted each other up everyday. I can't thank them enough for their dedication to our program and to each other. These ladies improved throughout the whole season and finished the season strong, playing volleyball at a very high level."

For more on Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, visit:


Makayla VanSteenvoort


Makayla VanSteenvoort was the only female student-athlete on the Lake Region State College Clay Target team this past fall, but she made an impact for the Royals squad. 

VanSteenvoort's performance this past fall in the MCAC Clay Target League led her to be ranked in the Top Ten Women's Division overall.  The Devil's Lake sophomore had a season round average of 18.20, which tied her with Northland's Emily Dufult for 5th place overall on the season in the Blue Division.

VanSteenvoort also took part in the MCAC Fall Championships, held in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in October.  There, she shot an 80 Total Score, placing her in a tie with Brenna Kvlgne of Southwest Tech, and just one behind Josie Hajek of North Dakota State College of Science.

For more on Lake Region State College, visit:

Datriana Jensen 

Coach / Alumnae


Datriana Jensen become the head softball coach at Ridgewater College in 2017, but brought strong ties to the Warrior program when she took over the RC dugout. 

Jensen studied at Ridgewater College where she earned a Coaching Certificate and A.A.S. degree in Administrative Support. She was a member of both the Ridgewater basketball (2013 – 2014 and 2014 – 2015 seasons) and softball (2012 and 2013 seasons). Jensen's 2012 Warrior softball team was the last softball team to make it to nationals, and Jensen is eager for another national appearance, except this time around as a coach.

Jensen is a Benson Braves native and began her coaching career for the Benson Community Education program which allowed her to coach kids from kindergarten through sixth grade. She has since spent her free time as a volunteer coach at Benson High School and in summer league softball. The Ridgewater mentor looks for opportunities to give back to her community and the game of softball in any way possible. 


For more on Ridgewater College, go to:



Jamie Meyer                   Amanda Siskow

Volleyball Coach                Softball Coach  

Riverland Community College coaches Amanda Siskow (Softball) and Jamie Meyer (Volleyball) both bring strong ties to the RCC programs that they now lead. 

Amanda Siskow was an assistant coach for Riverland in coaching both volleyball and women's basketball programs.   This experience has allowed Siskow to become familiar with the MCAC and confident competing at the collegiate level.  As Siskow enters her second season as the head coach in Austin for the Lady Blue Devil Softball team.  Riverland is looking forward to the 2019-20 season and creating a tradition of success for RCC softball. 

Jamie Meyer transitioned into the role of head coach for the Blue Devil volleyball program in November. Previously, Meyer was an assistant with the team, and brings a strong resume to her new role.  The Austin High School graduate played for Riverland, lining up as a middle and right sided hitter. She also has volleyball coaching stops along the way at Albert Lea High Schoo, Centerville (IA) High School. In addition to volleyball Meyer has worked with track and field athletes, with a focus on hurdles and jumps.  As a mother of three daughters, Meyer also has found time to earn a Master's degree in educational leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. 


 For more on Riverland Community College:

Denine Rood


Denine Rood, the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Pine Technical & Community College has been instrumental in the creation of the first athletic program at PTCC; the Pine Tech varsity Clay Target team. 

Pine Tech has successfully blended gun-smithing academic progarm with competitive success on the shooting range. Head coach Chris Wheeler and Rood have combined to grow a varsity team over the past two years which has competed with some of the best USA Clay Target programs in the MCAC. 

Rood joined Pine Technical & Community College in 2017 with a strong background in two-year colleges, with roles within the Wisconsin Technical College System, including MCAC counterpart Western Technical College. 

For more on Pine Technical & Community College, visit:

                  Arianna Apostolellis    Moriah Johnson     Nina Woerheide


Ice Hawk Cycling Team Student-Athletes


The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is proud to be home to several emerging and innovative sports programs, ranging from women's ACHA ice hockey at Rainy River Community College to several MCAC Clay Target programs with strong numbers of women on the rosters. 

Lake Superior College is home to another innovative program;  the first collegiate cycling team among MCAC schools. Starting their varsity squad last year, the IceHawks are pioneers in a sport that is growing rapidly around Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.  

LSC student-athletes ARIANNA APOSTOLELLISMORIAH JOHNSON and NINA WOERHEIDE were a part of Lake Superior 13-person roster of riders for head coach Greg Daw. 

Sophomore Moriah Johnson had a particulary strong 2019 fall season for her team, advancing to the short track cross country collegiate championships, where she place 33rd overall. 

In 2018, it was a historic first official varsity campaign for LSC Cycling culminating at the 2018 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship in Missoula, Montana.

In her first collegiate national championship appearance that year, Johnson placed an impressive 18th out of 48 in a very competitive cross country race on Friday. Moriah also placed 20th in short track cross country race.

For more on Lake Superior College:


Brittney McNab 

Coach / Alumnae 

Brittney McNab begins her first full season as coach of the Lady Jays. Brittney is no stranger to Lady Jay volleyball, as she was a key component of the LadyJays region qualifying volleyball team in both 2005 and 2006.  As a Lady Jay, Brittney was named the NJCAA player of the week and finished in the top 10 in the nation in several categories. She was also named to the NJCAA All American Team both of her seasons at MN West.

She also played basketball at MN West and led the team to a 3rd place finish in the state tournament. Brittney attended Dana college on a volleyball scholarship and graduated with a BA in Sports Management/Business.  She has coached volleyball at both Round Lake and HLO and has been active in JO volleyball since 2005.  Brittney is very excited to begin her tenure as the head coach at MN West and looks forward to leading the MnWest program. 

For more on MnWest;








This year will mark the 34th edition of the annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day event, designed to provide communities, schools and programs a national platform and voice in celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. 

The signature event for this celebration in Minnesota is the National Girls and Women in Sport Day Awards ceremony beginning at noon at the Minnesota History Center Wednesday, February 5. This important presentation is led by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership and features athletes, coaches, sport administrators, journalists and others from around the state who have had a major positive impact on women and girls in sport.

For more on the Minnesota event, go to:

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference includes over 24 NJCAA-affiliated colleges as a part of the Conference, allowing the MCAC to be one of the largest in the country in terms of the number of schools and geographic footprint.  The MCAC is proud to include over 30 women in head coaching and sport administration roles, hundreds of female student-athletes and dozens of women's teams taking to the hardwood, fields, trap houses, ball diamonds and other competition venues.