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Maddy Guetter on the attack

Wabasso volleyball standout now looks back on her collegiate career

Maddy Guetter

Four years ago, high school teams were able breathe sighs of relief as Wabasso outside hitter Maddy Guetter finished her senior year of volleyball with the Rabbits.

Guetter’s aggressive attack, an attack that saw her end her high school career with a school record 1,719 kills, left many teams flustered and defeated. Over the past four years, Guetter’s aggressive attack continued to leave teams flustered and defeated at the Division 2 college volleyball level with the Augustana Vikings in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

While her senior year of college winds down, Guetter has definitely left her mark on the court at Augustana — and not just with impactful swings that punished the floor with volleyballs.

Over the years, Guetter has been one of the Vikings’ top players and leaders in several areas. As a freshman, Guetter ended the year with a team-leading 291 kills. She also finished with 143 digs and 28 blocks.

While she lost out on her sophomore year of volleyball due to COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, Guetter and the Vikings got in plenty of work in the gym and in practice sessions.

Photos courtesy of Jurgens Photography Augustana University’s Maddy Guetter (3) prepares to serve the ball during a college volleyball match.

“All of 2020 was pretty much treated like a spring season, so we really got after it hard in practice and the gym,” Guetter said. “We were practicing hard five days a week — usually in season we practiced hard three days, have a recovery day and day before a game is a little lighter practice. So we really hit the gym hard in terms of not only practicing but also in terms of lifting. Got a lot stronger in the offseason those years because we were constantly able to push ourselves, knowing that we didn’t have to be feeling 100% by the weekend to play two games, you could just push yourself really hard.”

That hard work saw Guetter return with a vengeance in 2021 as she led the Vikings in kills (415) and points (476). She also had 59 total blocks, 28 aces and 307 digs (second on the team). She was also given All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team honors for her standout year.

This season, Guetter finished the regular season and NSIC Volleyball Tournament with a total of 392 kills, 313 digs, 54 blocks and 472 points in 30 matches. She led the team once again in kills and points and also led the team in ace serves with 50. While her kills were down a little bit from last year, Guetter had plenty of help on the attack by senior teammates Kate Reimann (343 kills) and Kia Kriener (289 kills).

While Guetter was a star athlete for Wabasso and was able to have continued success at the collegiate level, that success didn’t come without adjustments. Guetter was quick to find out in college that she wasn’t going to be able to take over the game every night in a talent-loaded conference like the NSIC.

“It’s crazy looking back at how much that I’ve learned and just grown as a player,” Guetter said. “I would say one of the biggest differences between high school and college is that college is such a fast game. Everybody is so good. … Four of our teams in the conference tournament are top five in the nation. So I’ve been playing in a super competitive conference throughout my collegiate career. The game is so fast, it’s so competitive, everybody is good and it can be anybody’s game on any given night.

Once one of Wabasso High School’s most fearsome hitters on the volleyball court, Maddy Guetter carried her attack to Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She passed 1,000 career kills in both high school and college.

“Another big difference between high school and college is I can’t expect myself to be super successful every night. You’re going to have off-nights and that happens in college, but you’re able to lean on your teammates so much more to pick it up when you’re not feeling 100%. So that’s been really fun and really cool as well as just being part of a team for four years. Becoming a leader on this team has been a big difference from high school just because I feel like the stakes are a little bit higher and you’re dealing with a lot of very talented players.”

Guetter’s standout senior year saw her reach several goals she set for herself and the team. One big individual goal Guetter had for herself at Augustana was to pass 1,000 career kills, just like she did in high school.

On Oct. 28, Guetter tallied her 1,000th career kill in a five-set home victory over Upper Iowa.

“One of the biggest goals I set for myself coming in on an individual level was that I had got 1,000 kills in high school and I really wanted to get 1,000 kills in college,” Guetter said. “And I was just able to get that three or four games ago. … So that was definitely one of the goals. First-Team All-Conference was always a goal for me.

“In terms of team-wise, I definitely wanted to make the conference tournament, obviously the goal is to make playoffs, but making the conference tournament every single year even though it’s been kind of a grind because we’ve got so many amazing teams in our conference. … So that has been a goal that we have been able to achieve all three seasons that I have been playing, so that has been really fun.”

Guetter said one of her favorite memories during her career with the Vikings came last season when the sixth-seeded Vikings knocked off third-seeded Concordia-St. Paul in the NSIC Volleyball Tournament quarterfinals.

“I would say my most memorable match would probably be last year in the conference tournament,” Guetter said. “We were playing Concordia-St. Paul and we ended up beating them in [four] sets, which was so fun. It was probably the best college game of volleyball I ever played. It was so competitive, so much fun, I think one of the sets ended up being like 34-32. It was just absolutely insane. We got to play at The Pentagon so that was super fun, and the conference tournament time is always super fun.”

The Vikings ended up winning that match 17-25, 34-32, 25-13, 25-23.

The Vikings recently pulled off another upset in the NSIC tourney, defeating top-seeded and No. 2-ranked Wayne State in five sets on Nov. 11 in St. Paul. The Vikings then were eliminated from the tournament on Nov. 12 after Concordia University, St. Paul swept them.

St. Cloud State University ended up winning the tourney by beating Concordia in five sets Nov. 13, earning SCSU an automatic DII NCAA Volleyball Tournament spot.

Guetter is majoring in business and minoring in marketing and has plans to move to the Twin Cities area to pursue work after college.

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