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Go-to hitter: Brewster powers Kernel volleyball attack

Mitchell's Chelsea Brewster (14) hits a kill shot as Aberdeen Central's Madelynn Diede (11) tries to defend on Sept. 27 at the Mitchell High School Gym. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Chelsea Brewster can do a little bit of everything, but she's at her best on the outside.

The Mitchell High School senior volleyball player once played the setter position and also has experience in the middle. But she's developed into a lethal offensive weapon on the outside for the Kernels.

"I just kind of want to be in the spot where I can make the greatest impact for my team," Brewster said.

For the 5-foot-11 Brewster, that's as an outside hitter. She's flourished at the spot and has amassed 871 career kills with the Kernels and has also recorded 691 career digs.

"She's really developed into a versatile offensive player," Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. "But as well as a defensive player."

On the outside, Brewster uses her athleticism to put down kills. She leads the Kernels with 177 this season.

"She runs a lot of different patterns," Thill said. "She is very athletic and she can make a lot of things happen, just because of her athleticism."

Brewster likes the outside spot because that's where most of the action is and she's built a strong relationship with setter Mandy Schmidt.

"She knows every play," Brewster said about Schmidt. "We know the same plays. We call the same plays. It's super nice."

But that chemistry has been built among the entire seniors and the success started in middle school.

"We all had such a good time playing it together," Brewster said. "In middle school we were super, super good and I just kind of grew a love of the game."

The group boasts a whopping 11 seniors and they've been a big reason for the success the past few seasons.

The Kernels went 3-22 during Brewster's freshman season and improved to 17-8 her sophomore season. They finished 21-6 as juniors and placed seventh at state.

"I think it was very natural just transitioning from high school to middle school since we knew each other so well and knew the game so well," Brewster said.

As for next year, Brewster has committed to play for NCAA Division II South Dakota School of Mines and plans on majoring in applied biological sciences.

"Really high academic standards and beautiful setting," Brewster said about picking the Hardrockers. "I love the coach. I love the girls. It basically checks all the boxes."

Coach Lauren Torvi told her she will be able to have an immediate impact next season on the court.

"She straight up told me when I committed 'You would be playing for us right now,' " Brewster said. "Because they don't even have another outside right now."

That's good news for Brewster, who is at her best on the outside.

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