Being surrounded by volleyball since she can remember, senior and computer science major Regan Richert is excited to take on her last year as a Sonoma State University Seawolf.
At a young age she was exposed to volleyball by her mother, who played and currently coaches, but Richert didn’t start playing until she was in third grade. From the start, her mother taught her discipline through the sport of volleyball and Richert has carried that discipline with her throughout the years.
This past summer, Richert had the opportunity to play in Ireland and Scotland for Athletes In Action (AIA), a Christian-based sports ministry.
“It’s cool that I get to use volleyball to share and tell people about God,” said Richert. “Those are two of the most important things in my life, so I love that I am able to combine them.”
Along with being able to share her two loves to others overseas, Richert was able to grow herself and find a bigger way to be motivated.
“After going to Ireland, I learned to play for an audience of one,” said Richert. “It’s one of AIA’s principles; playing like God is the only one watching.”
As a true freshman, Richert started in 27 games for SSU during the 2011 season and was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Freshman of the Year. Her success continued in her sophomore and junior years as well, being a regular player on the court.
Even though she doesn’t have a set position, Richert can be seen playing in the front row. She has been moved around during her years at Sonoma State but enjoys playing all of them.
“It’s like choosing between children,” said Richert. “I don’t think I could choose just one.”
If she wasn’t playing volleyball, Richert thinks she would like to play tennis. She doesn’t like playing contact sports so being separated by a net is a plus.
After college, Richert would love to continue her volleyball career but isn’t 100 percent on that decision. Whether she continues to play beyond college, Richert would like to coach her two younger sisters through their high school years and continue coaching for Empire Volleyball Club, where her coach Bear Grassl is the co-director.
“I see myself coaching for a long time,” said Richert. “With Empire, I love seeing the progress in the girls. When the skill clicks for them, it’s so rewarding. I just love seeing girls fall in love with volleyball.”
Richert was recruited to Sonoma State from Bakersfield. Though that was helpful in her decision to attend SSU as a student-athlete, she desired and environment where it didn’t feel like a job to be an athlete.
“Bear, my coach, is super easy going and fun,” said Richert. “He doesn’t put a lot of pressure on the girls so even though we play at a high level, it’s still fun.”
Along with the continued support of her coach, the values her mother taught her in her younger years have kept her going. She says her mom is her biggest influence as a player because she was she got her started in volleyball. Even before Richert was playing, her mother was teaching her skills, physical and mental.
For her last season, Richert is looking forward to being able to spend it with friends and teammates who share the same love of the game as her.
“We have a lot to learn because we have handful of girls who are new to the collegiate level,” said Richert. “But I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow with them and hopefully rival the top teams in our conference.”
Richert and the rest of the SSU volleyball team can be seen in action at their first home game on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. against Humboldt State University.