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Little Rock Volleyball News - Recruits

LITTLE ROCK – Four Trojans are set to join Little Rock volleyball in 2018 as head coach Van Compton announced the team’s signing class on Thursday.

Joining the team are junior college transfers Carol Barbosa, Diana Giordani and Pamela Zuluaga.

“Our three JUCOs will bring a lot of experience as all three were named NJCAA All-Americans," Compton said. "We look forward to working with them as they bring a lot to the table with their accomplishments. I think they’ll definitely help us be more successful. They’re talented and skilled on the court as well as in the classroom.”

In addition to the three transfers, freshman Laura Jansen will join the Trojans as the team’s lone freshman.

“Laura is a skilled freshman athlete," Compton said. "We’re looking forward to developing her skills in the years to come.”

Little Rock will sport its most international roster in program history next season as it will host student-athletes from seven different countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Romania and the United States.

“Having an international roster like ours is such a special dynamic," Compton said. "We teach each player to accept the other for who they are as a person and not where they’re from. It’s worked well for us as a program, and we look to continue that in the future.”

CAROL BARBOSA

Barbosa is a 6-0 middle hitter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and comes to Little Rock from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

Last season, Barbosa led Navarro with 459 kills and a .302 hitting percentage. She had the second-most kills per set on the team at 3.14 in 39 matches and 146 sets. Defensively, Barbosa led the team with 105 total blocks at a rate of 0.72 per set. For the year, she led Navarro with 541 total points and averaged 3.7 points per set.

For her play, Barbosa was awarded NJCAA All-American First Team honors, AVCA Second Team All-American honors, the Region XIV North Conference Player of the Year Award, All-Region XIV First Team honors and Region XIV North Conference All-Conference First Team honors.

In addition to athletics, Barbosa was a member of the Honor Society at Navarro College.

Prior to coming to the United States, Barbosa went to high school at Centro Educacional da Lagoa in Rio de Janeiro and played club volleyball with Fluminense & Flamengo.

DIANA GIORDANI

Giordani is a 5-3 defensive specialist/libero from Caxias do Sul, Brazil, and comes to Little Rock from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.

Last season, Giordani scooped up 3.93 digs per set for the Cardinals in 27 matches and 92 sets. She was named an NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention and the Region XIV Conference’s Libero of the Year. She also obtained First Team All-Conference honors and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Giordani also earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Vernon College Invitational and the NCTC Invitational.

During her freshman season, Giordani was named the Libero of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year She also received The Rock Award, which is awarded annually to the Trinity Valley’s ultimate team player. She took home First Team All-Conference honors after tallying 4.66 digs per set for the season.

In addition to her athletic success, Giordani was named to the Region XIV Conference All-Academic Team and is a Phi Tetta Kappa Honor Society member.

Before making her way to the states, Giordani played club volleyball with APAAVOLEI/UCS and ADC Bradesco and earned multiple awards.

PAMELA ZULUAGA

Zuluaga is a 5-8 setter from Bogota, Colombia, and comes to Little Rock from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Missouri.

Last season, Zuluaga tallied 1,212 assists at a rate of 10.36 per set while digging up the second most digs per set on the team at 3.42. In 36 matches and 117 sets played, she served up the second-most aces on the team with 49. Zuluaga was awarded NJCAA All-American First Team honors, AVCA All-American First Team honors, All-Region First Team honors and All-Conference First Team honors.

Zuluaga attended high school at Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, Missouri, and played soccer and basketball in addition to volleyball. For volleyball, she earned two varsity letters, All-Region First Team honors and All-Conference First Team honors. During her senior year, she was named the MaxPreps Player of the Week in Missouri. As a midfielder and defender in soccer, Zuluaga earned two varsity letters in addition to receiving All-District and All-Region First Team honors.

Zuluaga will be the first-ever Trojan to hail from Colombia.

LAURA JANSEN

Jansen is a 6-0 outside hitter from Doetinchem, Netherlands, and will be Little Rock’s lone freshman in 2018.

Jansen has won several championships in a Dutch conference and helped her team reach the Dutch Cup final for the last two seasons.

Jansen will be the first Dutch player to ever play for the Trojans.

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