Leaving her mark

WABASSO – Volleyball is a thing of the past for Chelsey Guetter now that she has signed a Letter of Intent to play basketball at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., after playing her upcoming final season of high school basketball for Wabasso.

However, Guetter left her mark on the Wabasso volleyball program this past fall by setting the school record for kills in both a single season (332) and career (726) as well as the career record for digs (646) en route to being unanimously voted the All-Journal Player of the Year for the 2013 season. She was also named the 2013 Tomahawk Conference Player of the Year and was a three-time All-Conference selection.

Guetter, who was a third-team All-Journal selection in 2012, said she spent the whole summer leading up to this season playing Junior Olympic volleyball at SMSU in Marshall. It was there that an injury ultimately paid dividends in her preparation.

“Around April, I tore my MCL in my elbow, so I was unable to hit outside or block for about three months, so I got stuck playing libero for a couple tournaments,” Guetter said. “It really helped me to work on my defense, because I had always kind of been an at-the-net player, so I really got to work on my all-around playing and work on my defensive skills for those JO tournaments.”

As Wabasso’s all-around player, Guetter helped lead the team to a 16-4-3 season and a 7-1 conference record, which earned it a share of the Tomahawk Conference title with Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop.

But Guetter’s athletic ability was far from a natural gift and instead was a product of her involvement in offseason volleyball.

“She’s put in a ton of time; she’s played Southwest Juniors for two years now, so she had started playing volleyball in basically January and would play until June,” said Wabasso coach Barb Johnson in October. “She’s come a long, long way since that freshman year, where you could look at her and tell that there was a lot of potential and a lot of athleticism, so you wanted to push her. And it paid off.”

When asked what her favorite facet of volleyball was, Guetter could not say one way or another.

“It’s hard to choose, I like hitting it down and not having anybody touch it – it hits the ground and everybody just looks,” Guetter said. “But it’s also fun to go up against some of those good players and if they think they get a kill and you dig it up, it’s almost just as rewarding.”

The Rabbits went into Section 3A play with high expectations as the No. 4 seed in the South Subsection, but were knocked out by No. 5-seeded Southwest Minnesota Christian (18-9-2) in five sets. The early exit was unexpected, but did not define Wabasso’s season.

“You can’t really look at that last game when something like that happens, you kind of have to look at your all-around season,” Guetter said. “Our record and the goals we set this year, we achieved.”

Even though Guetter will be moving onto different ventures in her life after she graduates this spring, she said she will not forget the little town that propelled her.

“Over the years that I’ve played, I’ve kind of seen a growth in the fans and the support,” Guetter said. “The fans at Wabasso and the support we have throughout the whole town is awesome. Playing with those girls for four years, playing with the seniors that I played with since seventh grade … I just loved playing. I’m going to miss it.”

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