By Tom Emery
Gillespie High School graduate Shelsie Timmermeier enjoyed an excellent season for the Blackburn College volleyball team last fall.
A 6’0” middle blocker, Timmermeier was a third-year starter for Blackburn and recorded 137 kills on the season. She ranked fourth in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a .251 hitting percentage.
Timmermeier finished with a season-high 12 kills in Blackburn’s five-set conference win over Spaulding on October 16 and had 10 kills to help Blackburn to a five-set victory in a conference home match against Eureka on October 27. She recorded eight kills and five blocks in a four-set win at home over Iowa Wesleyan on October 14 and picked up nine kills in the season finale, a three-set sweep of Harris-Stowe on November 1.
In addition, Timmermeier picked up seven kills and six blocks in Blackburn’s season-opening five-set win over Knox College on September 1.
“She just keeps getting better, both as a hitter and a blocker,” said second-year Blackburn head coach Jim Hunstein. “She also does a great job of keeping things light at practice and during matches. She has a rather unorthodox swing, but she makes it work, and it really fools a lot of opponents.”
An experienced leader, Hunstein came to Blackburn after three seasons as head volleyball and women’s tennis coach at Lewis and Clark Community College. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as an assistant volleyball coach at Washington University in St. Louis, a perennial NCAA Division III powerhouse, from 2009-2012. The Bears won a national title in Hunstein’s first season on the bench in 2009.
Hunstein led Blackburn to a 9-19 mark last fall, the most wins for the program since the 2000 season. The Beavers concluded their season with five wins in their last eight matches.