Southwest Minnesota State setter Emilee Gutzmer was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Freshman of the Year and earned second team AVCA All-American honors, while Mustang seniors Brooke Burmeister and Mary Groth were named to the AVCA All-America honorable mention team, the AVCA office in Lexington, Ky., announced Monday.
Gutzmer, a native of Jordan, finished the regular season ranked second in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and second in the nation with 1,288 set assists and 12.75 assists per set. She also had 249 digs for the Mustangs, which ranked second on the team. She already ranks ninth all-time in school history with 1,381 assists.
Gutzmer was also named to the AVCA All-Central Region first team and was honored as the AVCA Central Region Freshman of the Year and NSIC Freshman of the year while helping lead the Mustangs to a 30-3 record, an NSIC Tournament title and a spot in the Central Region semifinals.
Burmeister, a graduate of Jackson County Central and a native of Lakefield, was named to the AVCA All-America team for the third time in her career. She was named to the second team last season and to the third team as a sophomore. The outside hitter led SMSU in kills for the second straight season, tallying 354 kills at a clip of 3.28 kills per set. She finished her career ranked fifth in program history with 1,550 kills, seventh in kills per set (3.44) third in attack attempts (4,096), sixth in points (1,756.5), seventh in points per set (3.89), 15th in sets played (451) and 11th in matches played (129).
Earlier in the season, Burmeister was also named to the AVCA All-Central Region team for the third time in her career, and was named to the Daktronics All-Central Region second team for the third time in her career. She is a three-time All-NSIC honoree, a three-time NSIC All-Academic selection, and also was named Academic All-District for the first time in her career this season.
Groth, a middle blocker from West Bend, Wis., was named to the AVCA All-America team for the third time in her career, earning honorable mention honors for her senior season. She was named to the third team as a sophomore and as a junior. Groth finished second on the team with 350 kills (3.21 kills per set), and had 88 blocks. She finished her career ranked fourth in school history in kills (1,612), fifth in kills per set (3.68), fifth in attack attempts (3,613), sixth in attack percentage (.305), eighth in block assists (287), 11th in total blocks (336), fifth in points (1,804.5), fifth in points per set (4.12) and 15th in matches played (125).
Groth was a three-time AVCA All-Central Region team selection and was named honorable mention on the AVCA All-Central Region team as a freshman.
Only three other Mustangs have been named to the AVCA All-America team in school history: Erin Contons (second team in 2005 and 2006, first team in 2007), Kasey Loeslie (third team in 2008) and Devin Diedrich (honorable mention in 2008, third team in 2009, first team in 2010).