Paige Paulsen is hanging up her jersey with no regrets.
While her five-year career with the UNB Varsity Reds women’s volleyball team may have ended on a losing note — a 3-2 loss to the Dalhousie Tigers in the Atlantic University Sport Championship semifinal — Paulsen said that she’ll value the memories of her V-Reds family more than anything.
Paulsen wished she could have gone out on a win, but acknowledged that Dalhousie put up a strong fight.
“My stomach still drops when I think about the fact that we lost in a fifth set 15-12, but that being said, it really was a tough-fought match,” she said.
“We all believed we were going to win and fought until the very last point to do so. I am so proud of the effort that was given from my team, and knowing that is what makes me able to still hold my head up after that game.”
Still, after five years, Paulsen is emotional talking about what she described as some of the best years of her life.
“After the game we sat in the locker room and I just remember looking down at my jersey thinking, ‘this is the last time I will ever have UNB on my back’ — and that was a hard thought to process,” the Keswick Ridge, N.B. native said.
While she was one of the veterans on a relatively young team, Paulsen believes that the squad is in good hands moving forward.
“The young players came in and filled some big roles on the team. They never cracked under the pressure nor did their dedication waver. The girls on the team are my family and I don’t think I would have had the amazing five years that I have had if I didn’t have the teammates that I did.”
Paulsen will have plenty to keep her busy off the court, given her extensive volunteering record. She recently won the AUS Erin Bursey Memorial Award for balancing academics, athletics and community service. Still, she finds herself occasionally reflecting upon that last game against Dal.
“I would be lying if I said I haven’t been replaying the game in my mind over and over again, thinking of how I could have been better,” she said. “But then I remind myself that it truly has been one hell of a run and I couldn’t have asked for a better year to finish on.”