BALTIMORE – Versatile middle hitter Paola Rojas has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) and has committed to play at UMBC for the 2014 season, head coach Ian Blanchard announced on Monday afternoon.
The San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico native joins a highly-touted incoming class for the fall of 2014 which includes Claudia Lopez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Abbie Mirabella (Hockessin, Del.).
"We're very excited for Paola to join our team," said head coach Ian Blanchard, who enters his tenth season with the Retrievers in the fall. "She is an explosive athlete who has years of international and other high quality competition under her belt."
Rojas has competed for the Puerto Rican Junior National Team over the past few years, competing in the Czech Republic and Thailand in 2013. She has also represented Puerto Rico in competitions in Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico. Measuring six foot, one inch, Rojas primarily plays as a middle hitter, but Blanchard believes that she can help the team in more than one way.
"I've watched her play and mature over the last few years, and I've seen her develop her game and become a great teammate," Blanchard said of his newest athlete. "She has a great arm, is tremendous at blocking, and has very good overall volleyball skills."
With playing on the international stage, Rojas received attention from schools around the nation, gaining offers from programs in the ACC, Big 10, SEC, and West Coast Conference (WCC). She has received multiple MVP and All-Tournament Team accolades along the way.
"Paola has a chance to come in and compete for a starting sport right away as we look to win the conference this season," Blanchard added. "She's a tenacious athlete and wants to win."