Third Burmeister sister to play for SMSU
The suffix "meister" means "expert" or "master" in a certain field. For the Burmeister sisters, that field is on the volleyball court.
Kaylee Burmeister, following her sisters Brooke and Whitney, will become the third member of the family to suit up for the Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team this upcoming season.
The sport runs in the Burmeister blood.
"All three sisters have such a great volleyball IQ. They read well, the see the court well, their skill level is so high," said their former coach at Jackson County Central High School, Teresa VanEpps.
Each one has amassed impressive volleyball resumes.
The oldest Burmeister to play at SMSU, Brooke, played for the Mustangs between 2009-2012. She finished fifth all-time in kills with 1,550 and sixth in points with 1756 for the Mustangs.
She also recorded 27 kills in two seperate matches in October of 2011.
Whitney, a rising senior, helped lead them to the National Championship this past season.
She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team for her performance. She also was named Northern Sun Conference Defensive Player of the week in October.
Kaylee, an outsider hitter for JCC, had a dominant senior season for the Huskies. She was named all-conference, all-state, and was a Ms. Minnesota Baden finalist this past fall.
There's a fourth volleyball playing Burmesiter, Leah. Even thought she didn't attend SMSU, she had an impressive career for Weber State. She ranks in the top ten in six different statistical categories for WSU.
While they all have different skill sets, they all bring the same characteristics to the game: hard work, intelligence, integrity.
SMSU volleyball coach Terry Culhane has coached all three of them either at SMSU or at the Southwest Juniors summer programs.
"All three of them are good well-rounded players. All three of them are just great kids. They are conscientious students. They work hard at getting better in the game," said Culhane.
Even though all three our competitive, that spirit hasn't affected their friendship. They hunt, fish, and ride horses together when they have time.
Whitney is in a uncommon situation of playing with a sister for the second time.
"It's unique for me because I got to play with Brooke my freshman year and play with Kaylee my senior year. I'm extremely excited. I don't know of anyone who played with two different sisters," said Whitney.
While every sister benefited from the athletics and academics at SMSU, Mr. and Mrs. Burmeister benefited from their choice as well.
"I think my parents like having us close to here. I think both of them are really excited and really happy we chose to go to SMSU. It's nice that they can get to home matches. They can kill two birds with one stone with Kaylee coming," said Whitney.
Even though this is the third time fans will see a Burmeister in play at the PE Gym, it may feel a bit more like deja vu this time.
"It's kind of funny. A lot of people will say Kaylee is a spitting image of me," said Whitney Burmeister.
I'm sure no one's ever minded a similar-looking expert.