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Volleyball Signs Two European Athletes for 2013 Season
Head Coach Ian Blanchard
BALTIMORE – The UMBC volleyball team has signed two European athletes, Ivana Kostic and Zoya Trendafilova, to National Letters of Intent for the 2013 season, head coach Ian Blanchard announced on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re really excited for both of them to come to play here at UMBC,” said Blanchard, who will be entering his ninth season with the Retrievers in the fall. “They both bring great international and club experience and have a serious passion for the game and a will to perform in the States at the collegiate level.”
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Kostic comes to the United States as a middle blocker and outside hitter. At 6-2, she will be one of the tallest players on the Retrievers’ roster and provide instant depth at both positions.
“She brings in a lot of experience from a country known for its rich volleyball history,” Blanchard said. “We were looking to get a little longer up the middle and on the right-side and her talents will help us become an overall more physical team.”
Trendafilova comes to Baltimore from Sophia, Bulgaria where she played all of the front row positions. A dynamic hitter with great versatility, Trendafilova could have an instant impact for the Retrievers who look to make a sixth-straight trip to the America East Championship and win their first league title since joining the conference in 2003.
“Zoya is tremendously versatile and can really play any position on the floor,” Blanchard remarked. “I look forward to her getting to campus so we can evaluate her talents and see where she best fits in with the team.”
UMBC went 8-4 in America East play last season, its best-ever mark in the league. The Retrievers earned the No. 3-seed at the conference tournament where they were defeated in five sets by eventual conference champion Binghamton. Despite the loss of seniors Katie Kelly and Ali Loynachan, Blanchard is optimistic about next season.
“I’m really excited to see what these two athletes [Kostic and Trendafilova] can bring to the already fantastic culture as a team.
“I am elated at how well this team has come together during the spring because we’ve certainly faced a few changes and challenges along the away, but overall our culture has never been better and there is no team with whom I’d rather work.”