Outside hitter Jovana Bjelica leads the team with 89 kills.
Outside hitter Jovana Bjelica leads the team with 89 kills.
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CAROLINA: Someone You Can Count On
Release: 09/19/2013

By Amy Hoots


Volleyball assistant head coach Eve Rackham was coaching at Florida International University five years ago.  At the time, Serbian student Jovana Bjelica had committed to attend FIU on a volleyball scholarship.  That year, Rackham accepted a position on the Carolina coaching staff, so she did not have the opportunity to coach Bjelica.  Until now.

Bjelica is a graduate student participating in the Masters of Accounting Program at Carolina.  She attended undergraduate at FIU and was a highly successful volleyball player.  Bjelica broke bone in her hand during the warm-up before the first match of her senior season and had to sit out the whole year. 

A series of circumstances made the Bjelica addition to the Carolina team both possible and beneficial.  Bjelica is an outstanding student who was able to graduate FIU in 3 ½ years, certainly impressive for someone who came to college barely speaking English. 

"It took me about a half a year to be able to express myself," recalled Bjelica.  She also participated in a Division I sport, so time management was a skill she learned quickly.

Read the rest of this story in the Sept. 17 issue of CAROLINA

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