Four years ago, high school teams breathed a sigh of relief when Wabasso winger Maddy Guetter finished her senior year in volleyball with the Rabbits.
Guetter’s aggressive attack, an attack that led to her ending her high school career with a school-record 1,719 kills, left many teams nervous and defeated. For the past four years, Guetter’s aggressive attack has continued to confuse and defeat the Division 2 college volleyball-level teams with the Augustana Vikings in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
As her senior year of college draws to a close, Guetter has definitely made her mark on the court at Augustana — and not just with high-impact swings that punished the ground with volleys.
Over the years, Guetter has been one of the Vikings’ finest players and leaders in several areas. As a freshman, Guetter finished the year with 291 kills as the team leader. She also finished with 143 digs and 28 blocks.
While she lost her sophomore year of volleyball due to COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, Guetter and the Vikings have been putting in a lot of work in the gym and practice sessions.
“The whole of 2020 was treated pretty much like a spring season so we took it really hard in training and in the gym.” said Guter. “We trained hard five days a week – usually in the season we trained hard for three days, resting day and day before a game is a little bit lighter training. So we hit the gym really hard not only in terms of exercise but also in terms of lifting. We got a lot stronger in those off-season years because we could keep pushing ourselves, because we knew we didn’t have to feel 100% to play two games at the weekend, you could just push really hard.”
That hard work resulted in Guetter returning with a vengeance in 2021 as she led the Vikings in kills (415) and points (476). She also had a total of 59 blocks, 28 aces, and 307 digs (runner-up on the team). She also received the All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team honor for her outstanding year.
That 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 games. She again led the team in kills and points, and also led the team in ace serves with 50. While her kills were down a bit from last year, Guetter had a lot of help on offense from older teammate Kate Reimann (343 kills). and Kia Kriener (289 kills).
While Guetter was a star athlete for Wabasso and could continue to thrive at the collegiate level, that success didn’t come without adjustments. Guetter found out quickly in college that she wouldn’t be able to take the game every night in a talented conference like NSIC.
“It’s crazy when I look back at how much I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a player.” said Guter. “I would say one of the biggest differences between high school and college is that college is such a fast-paced game. All are so good. … Four of our teams in the conference tournament are the top five in the nation. So I played in a super competitive conference during my college career. The game is so fast, it’s so competitive, everyone’s good, and it can be everyone’s game any night.
“Another big difference between high school and college is that I can’t expect to be super successful every night. You will have nights off and that happens in college, but you can count on your teammates so much more to make up for it when you’re not feeling 100%. Well, that was really fun and really cool, besides just being part of a team for four years. Becoming the leader on that team was a big difference from high school just because I feel like the stakes are a little higher and you’re dealing with a lot of very talented players.
In Guetter’s outstanding senior year, she achieved several goals she had set for herself and the team. A big individual goal Guetter had for herself at Augustana was to get 1,000 career kills, just like she did in high school.
On October 28, Guetter notched her 1,000th career kill in a five-set home win over Upper Iowa.
“One of the biggest goals I set for myself as an individual was that I had 1,000 kills in high school and was desperate to get 1,000 kills in college.” said Guter. “And I was only able to achieve that three or four games ago. … So that was definitely one of the goals. First-Team All-Conference has always been a goal for me.
“Regarding the team, I definitely wanted to reach the conference tournament, of course the goal is to reach the playoffs, but to make the conference tournament every year, although it was quite difficult because we have so many great teams in our conference. … So that was a goal that we’ve been able to achieve in all three seasons that I’ve played, so it’s been really fun.”
Guetter said one of her fondest memories of her career with the Vikings came last season when the sixth-ranked Vikings defeated third-ranked Concordia-St. Paul in the quarterfinals of the NSIC volleyball tournament.
“I would say my most memorable match would probably be last year at the conference tournament.” said Guter. “We played Concordia-St. Paul and we ended up breaking them in [four] Sets, that was so much fun. It was probably the best college volleyball game I’ve ever played. It was so competitive, so much fun, I think one of the sets ended 34-32. It was just absolutely insane. We got to play at the Pentagon, which was super fun, and the conference tournament season is always super fun.”
The Vikings eventually won that match 17:25, 34:32, 25:13, 25:23.
The Vikings recently pulled off another upset in the NSIC tournament, defeating top seed and 2nd ranked Wayne State in five sets on November 11 in St. Paul. The Vikings were then eliminated from the tournament on November 12 after Concordia University, St. Paul, defeated them.
St. Cloud State University eventually won the tournament by defeating Concordia in five sets on November 13, earning SCSU an automatic DII-NCAA volleyball tournament spot.
Guetter is a minor in business administration and marketing and plans to move to the Twin Cities area after college to work.