CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In addition to four incoming freshmen, the North Carolina volleyball team will be adding a fifth newcomer in graduate student Jovana Bjelica, head coach Joe Sagula announced this week.
Bjelica, an outside hitter, earned her undergraduate degree at Florida International.
"Jovana is a solid and experienced six-rotation player who should be able to contribute with solid ball control and high percentage hitting," Sagula said. "She performed at a high level at FIU and has a good knowledge of NCAA Division I level of play.
"I look forward to her being able to stabilize our serve receive game, and being a smart attacker who can score points in critical times throughout the season. With the majority of our team being underclassmen, she is the perfect complement for our squad as a veteran, and I will look to Jovana for leadership both on and off the court," Sagula said.
UNC closed out the 2012 campaign with a 26-6 overall mark, finishing third in the ACC with a 16-4 conference record after advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Outside Hitter • Belgrade, Serbia • Florida International University
At Florida International: Started all 30 matches as a junior, posting team-high marks of 479 kills and 21 aces • Also recorded 285 digs and 63 blocks and a team-best 11 double-doubles in 2011 • Named to 2011 Sun Belt Conference First Team and 2011 SBC Academic Honor Roll • Named the SBC Player of the Week four times in 2011 • Named to the SBC Commissioner's List for positing a 3.5 GPA or higher in 2010 • 2009 AVCA All-South Region • 2009 SBC Freshman of the Year and named to All-Conference second team • 2009 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention.