Sometimes it is about being in the right place at the right time.
Moline senior volleyball standout Maddie Peterson found that out in a wonderful way.
Last spring, the Bradley University volleyball coaches were watching Rock Island's Carlee Camlin during a spring club tournament. It just so happened that Peterson was a teammate of Camlin's on the Platform Elite travel team on on the court that day.
Bradley would eventually sign Camlin to a scholarship, where she will begin her college career this fall. Doubling the Western Big 6 Conference pleasure, the Braves also took notice of the dazzling libero play of Peterson. In late May of this year, Peterson made her commitment to join Camlin in Peoria next fall.
"They came to watch Carlee and I had no idea they were watching me until they came over and said they were interested," Peterson said. "I talked to their coaches and with my Moline coaches and I decided to take an unofficial visit.
"I went there and fell in love with it. They offered me and that was it. It was my first offer and I was thrilled."
Peterson had also taken some interest in Luther College and Northwest Missouri. Also, Tennessee Tech asked her to take an unofficial visit but "that came after I had committed and it was too far away for me," she said.
"Carlee helped me a lot in making this decision," Peterson said. "First, that she was being recruited and they were there to see her and also saw me. Then, she and I talked a lot with (Bradley assistant) Jon Wong, who was recruiting me. Lauren Hansen, my recruiter from Platform, also helped by reaching out to Bradley."
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Peterson had an outstanding junior season for the Maroons with 78 assists, 47 aces and 448 digs. She knows there is much more she can do.
"I definitely think there is always more room for improvement," she said. "The key is always having confidence and knowing what you have, and then building on that. I always want to expand my knowledge of the game because I eventually want to be a coach."
At 5-foot-3, there is no talk of Peterson moving up to the net. She already knows what she will be facing trying to block scoring chances in the middle.
"I have seen college players and the ones at the net are so much bigger and stronger," Peterson said. "I know I will have to get stronger myself and be ready for those balls. I know I have to get better in every way skillwise."
Peterson expects to play libero or as a defensive specialist in college.
"Nothing has been set and most important, I know nothing is given," she said. "If I do get to play it will only be because I have earned it. I will work this fall on getting better and then move on to the next place."
The right place because she was there at the right time.