12:30 PM

Sister’s Support Helps Walker Build Legacy

Sister’s Support Helps Walker Build Legacy

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Legacy -- no matter how you define it, Beth Walker, the senior setter on the University’s volleyball team, has already built one. A two-time All-American entering her senior season, Walker has accumulated close to 3,500 assists over her first three seasons.

She has the Bruins off to an 11-9 mark prior to conference play, the team’s first as a member of the North Star Athletic Association.

Of course, Walker was a legacy when she first joined the volleyball squad. Her sister, Lisa (Walker) Longmeyer, was the Bruins’ Athlete of the Year as an outside hitter for the volleyball team in 2001. Today, Longmeyer works as an account executive with KETV, an Omaha television station. The married, mother of three still manages to make it to most of the Bruins’ home matches. Longmeyer was not shy about promoting her alma mater when it came time for her younger sister to select a college.

20150903 - VB Bellevue v Culver-Stockton Beth Walker

“I knew she wanted to play volleyball somewhere. I had a great time here at Bellevue, both academically and athletically,” Longmeyer said. “It’s a smaller school, so you’re not going to get lost in 100 to 150 students in the classroom and it’s a great volleyball program.”

Bellevue is a little over a five-hour drive from the Walker’s hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. So far enough away to find a little independence. But having an older sister a stone’s throw away helps provide some of the comforts of home. Like a little laundry and the occasional home cooked meal.

“A big part of why I’m here had to do with the fact that Lisa was here -- just having the support,” Walker said. “Having her at my games is really nice. She knows about Bellevue. She knows the background.”

WalkerLisa Lisa (Walker) Longmeyer

From a family of eight children, both sisters played at Dubuque Wahlert High School, a volleyball powerhouse both in Iowa and nationally, as did oldest sister, Trisha, Emily and Sarah, sisters who fall between Lisa and Beth.

“Wahlert is an amazing high school and a phenomenal volleyball program,” Longmeyer said. “I was fortunate enough to play for Coach Tom Keating. He has a lot of state championships under his belt. I also had the opportunity to play with a lot of great players including my sister, Trisha.”

Wahlert claimed a state championship in 1996 with two Walker sisters on the roster.

Keating, now the principal at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Xavier, had moved on by the time Beth, the youngest sister, took to the court. Walker’s teams weren’t able to capture a state title, but did advance to the semi-finals.

“It was always a great program, tough, competitive. We always played against top-notch teams,” Walker said of her Wahlert experience.

walkersedit Lisa and Beth

While Walker followed her sister to the Bellevue University volleyball court, the pair has followed divergent paths in the classroom. Where Longmeyer earned her business degree, Walker is working on a psychology/sociology double major. Walker has benefited from the guidance of Dr. Roxanne Sullivan, who leads the psychology program, and is also one of the Athletic Department’s most ardent supporters.

“If you need an outlet to go to she’s always there,” Walker said. “She’s just a great support system. She’s always willing to help with anything and everything (including home baked cookies from her mother!).

Following graduation, Walker hopes to begin a career in social work.

“I want to work with kids. I also want to coach. I’m coaching for Millard South (as a varsity assistant),” she said. “We’ll see what kind of opportunities come around.”