Crystal Richter, 19, Psychology fresh from volleyball practice at Saddleback College. (Alyssa Hunter)
Crystal Richter, 19, psychology is the Gauchos volleyball captain and she keeps the team together with hard work and determination.
Richter said her family is big on sports and she has played soccer since age 5. She started playing volleyball her freshman year of high school as a new experience.
“I wanted to try something new when I got to high school,” Richter said. “There’s more fun in volleyball and I enjoy it more.”
Richter didn’t let a setback from knee surgery her senior year keep her from continuing with the sport at Saddleback College in the opposite position. She has been playing for four years now.
Before each game Richter is in her own mental mind state.
“I try to visualize myself doing everything the right way and doing well,” Richter said.
In order to prepare for a game, Richter has a ritual of putting on her socks and shoes from left to right.
Her teammates mean everything to her and their mission is to help the Gauchos succeed.
“It helps that we’re friends, so we can communicate with each other,” Richter said.
Co-captain Jessie Lopez, 20, psychology said, “She inspires the team in anyway possible. She is one of the hardest workers and puts in 100 percent everyday.”
“We all like to think of her as team mom. She is always prepared with the necessities and her backpack is like Mary Poppins’ purse,” Lopez said. “All in all, she is an outstanding captain, player, and friend and we all love her dearly.”
Richter’s inspiration comes from her sister Amber Richter, 23, who also played volleyball.
“My sister is one of my biggest role models,” Richter said. “I look up to her the most, just her personality in general and especially with volleyball.”
Coach Carmen Stratton said, “Crystal is an exceptional individual. She is a hard worker, team player and good communicator. She leads her teammates by her example and dedication. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to coach her.”
Richter’s other interests and hobbies include wake boarding, boating at the river, and psychology.
Richter aspires to become a therapist for battered women. She became interested in psychology her junior year of high school after taking a class. She also hopes to later volunteer at a battered women’s shelter.
While she doesn’t plan on pursuing volleyball after transferring, she plans on transferring to Cal State San Luis Obispo or Cal State Long Beach to focus on school.
After grad school, at hopefully UC Davis, Richter wants to live in Northern California and pursue her career goals.