Photo by John S. Peterson
Nebraska Volleyball

The Lo-Down: My Proudest Moments and Biggest Regret as a Husker

November 20, 2018
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No matter who you are and what you do, everyone has something they are satisfied with and something they wish they could go back and change. I constantly think about my proudest moment as a Husker volleyball player and then of course, what I regret most from my three seasons at Nebraska. As human beings, this is only natural. 

Some of you may have heard my responses to these two questions in an interview or two in the past. But I want to divulge my current responses to these questions. I think being done playing for a few years now has helped me put into perspective how I really feel.

Let’s start with what I am most proud of while playing for the Big Red. I have multiple answers to this question and I am sure some of them won’t surprise you.

John S. Peterson
The mini volleyball I presented to Coach Cook on my senior night in 2012.

Playing for my dad. I don’t know many daughters who get to play for their fathers or many fathers who could handle coaching their daughters. In my opinion, we have such a close and special relationship, which is how we made it work. I can’t thank him enough for providing me the opportunity to come back and play.

Every home match the players throw out miniature volleyballs. On my senior night, I decided to write a long message on a ball and then gave that ball to Coach Cook. That was one of the most memorable nights of my life. The surprised expression on his face and the fact that I got to share that special moment with Husker nation will always be engrained in the back of my mind.

Speaking of Husker nation, they are the other reason I am beyond proud to have been a Cornhusker. The support they continually give year in and year out no matter if you are winning national championships or not is incredible. I still have fans come up to me to this day to talk about some of the games I played in and, overall, how much they enjoy Nebraska volleyball.

John S. Peterson
Coach Cook reads the message I wrote on the mini volleyball prior to senior night in 2012.

There is nothing like it and I don’t think any other school will ever be able to match it. Every time I put on that Nebraska jersey, I got to represent this amazing fan base and the continued love and support they provide.

My biggest regret. This is something I wish I could go back in time and change. It crosses my mind every so often and what I am about to say may or may not surprise you –– not redshirting my sophomore year. 

When I transferred from UCLA to Nebraska, I had so much confidence built up. I started at a top Division 1 program as a freshman, we beat Stanford for the first time in eight years, we almost won the Pac-10 and I was coming off of being named National Freshman of the Year. I thought I had finally proved myself, that I didn’t just get places in the volleyball world because of my last name. I wanted to continue to be on the court, I thought I deserved to. I wanted to bring success to the Huskers, just like I did to the Bruins.

That was going to be difficult, however. 

Sydney Anderson was in her senior year and had run the show for the past two years. I can vividly remember my dad asking me, “Are you 100-percent sure you don’t want to redshirt? Sydney can finish out her senior year, you will run the team next year, you won’t have to play in a 6-2 . . . ” He gave me so many reasons as to why I should redshirt, but I was too stubborn to do so. I wish I would have, though.

If I would have redshirted, I wouldn’t have had to play in a 6-2 which I strongly disliked because as a setter, you are only in three out of the six rotations. I would have been able to play with Kelsey Robinson for a year (one of the best outside hitters Nebraska has ever had), and I wouldn’t be sitting here today with this giant regret that I think about often and one that I wish I could change.

Bottom line, we all have instances in our life that have affected us in either a positive or negative way. Some situations leave you feeling proud and accomplished while others leave you feeling regret and disappointment.

However, I believe we can learn so much from our past. The decisions I made have helped me to grow into the person I am today and have left me with some really proud and memorable moments that I will have for the rest of my life.

 
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