In addition to our story about Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann, who has established herself as one of the top freshmen in NCAA volleyball this season, rosters throughout the U.S. are sprinkled with Brazilians.

Charlotte’s libero Yumi Garcia is also having a fantastic season. She leads the NCAA in digs per set (6.60) while compatriot Gabriela Macedo, a libero for Evansville, ranks sixth (5.89).

Most of the Brazilians coming to the NCAA arrive with some level of experience with their country’s youth and junior national teams. Some also have a distinguished volleyball pedigree,  as is the case of Jackson State junior middle-blocker Marina Brito, who is the daughter of 1992 Olympic champion Jorge Edson.

Nebraska freshman setter Nicole Drewnick’s mother Cilene was a member of the Brazilian women’s Olympic team in 1992. UC Riverside libero Renata Bath is the daughter of Guilherme Tenius, who was a member of the men’s national team coaching staff in both the Olympic gold campaigns of 2004 and 2016 and currently serves as an assistant coach for the beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman.

Many college teams have multiple Brazilians on their rosters. That’s the case for St. Petersburg College (6), Seward County Community (5), UTRGV (5), Little Rock (3), Panola College (3), Eckerd (3), Chicago State (2), Georgia Tech (2), Cal State Bakersfield(2) and Prairie View A&M (2).

The South Americans are also very present on the sidelines, with several head coaches and assistant coaches, such as Bucknell’s Anna Alison, who is the daughter of four-time Olympian Antonio Carlos Moreno, and Georgia Tech’s assistant coach Claudio Pinheiro, who was part of the Brazilian women’s national team coaching staff that took gold at both the 2008 and the 2012 Olympics.

Here are the Brazilian players and coaches we found, but we’re pretty sure there are more. To add who we missed, add a comment at the end of this story:



Julia Bergmann, Georgia Tech, Outside Hitter, Freshman
Mariana Brambilla, Georgia Tech, Outside Hitter, Sophomore
Nicole Drewnick, Nebraska, Setter, Freshman
Fernanda Vido, San José State, Outside Hitter, Redshirt-Senior
Gabriela Macedo, Evansville, Defensive Specialist/Libero, Redshirt-Senior
Yumi Garcia, Charlotte, Defensive Specialist/Libero, Senior
Juliana Vaz, Hofstra, Outside Hitter, Junior
Singryd Valadares, Alcorn State, Outside Hitter/Right Side, Redshirt-Senior
Beatriz Palmieri, Chicago State, Outside Hitter, Junior
Paola Fragalle, Chicago State, Setter, Freshman
Isabela Adamczyk, California State, Middle-Blocker/Right Side, Freshman
Rafa Bonifacio, CSU Bakersfield, Outside Hitter, Senior
Ana Paula Zandona, Eastern Washington, Setter, Junior
Marina Bianchi Brito, Jackson State, Middle Blocker, Junior
Giulia Alves, American International College, Middle Blocker, Sophomore
Ana Beatriz Franklin, Ohio State, Outside Hitter, Senior
Melissa Bento, Prairie View A&M, Right Side, Senior
Thaynara Godoi, Prairie View A&M, Middle Blocker, Junior
Ana Caroline Melo, Panola College, Outside Hitter/Right Side, Freshman
Mylena Testoni, Panola College, Outside Hitter/Right Side, Freshman
Maria Santos, Panola College, Right Side, Freshman
Fabiana Petkowicz, Seward County, Right Side, Freshman
Laura de Pra, Seward County, Setter, Sophomore
Djuly Schmorantz, Seward County, Outside Hitter, Sophomore
Livia de Pra, Seward County, Outside Hitter, Freshman
Thais Vieira, Seward County, Middle-Blocker, Sophomore
Esmadar Tavares, Radford, Outside Hitter, Junior
Julia Queiroz, Seattle, Middle Blocker, Sophomore
Diana Giordani, Little Rock, Libero/Defensive Specialist, Senior
Carol Barbosa, Little Rock, Middle Blocker, Senior
Nathalia Vigineski, Little Rock, Setter, Sophomore
Renata Bath, UC Riverside, Libero/Defensive Specialist, Sophomore
Julia Borges, UNC Asheville, Right Side, Senior
Rafaela Biegelmeyer, USF, Setter, Junior
Andressa Praise, St. Petersburg College, Middle-Blocker, Sophomore
Julia Parada, St. Petersburg College, Setter, Freshman
Daniela Prior, St. Petersburg College, Middle Blocker, Sophomore
Leticia Fernandes, St. Petersburg College, Setter, Freshman
Giovanna Costa, St. Petersburg College, Right Side, Freshman
Roberta Ribeiro, St. Petersburg College, Outside Hitter, Sophomore
Marina Cruz, UMES, Outside Hitter/Right Side, Junior
Barbara Silva, UTRGV, Right Side, Senior
Debora Nazario, UTRGV, Setter, Junior
Talita Oliveira, UTRGV, Middle Blocker, Senior
Pamela Moreira, UTRGV, Right Side, Redshirt-Sophomore
Paula Hoffman, Eckerd, Outside Hitter, Senior
Fernanda Reis, Eckerd, Setter, Senior
Luana Rezende, Eckerd, Libero, Junior
Veronica Farias, VCU, Middle blocker Junior
Helena Khouri, Weber State Libero, Senior
Michelle Collier, Georgia Tech , Head Coach
Claudio Pinheiro, Georgia Tech, Assistant Coach
Emily Mansur, Hofstra, Head Coach
Giovana Melo , CSU Bakersfield, Director of Volleyball/Head Coach
Carlos Moreno, Arizona State, Associate Head Coach
Cesar Benatti, California State, Assistant Coach
Thiago Lopes, Little Rock, Assistant Coach
Frederico Santos, UNC Asheville, Head Coach
Anna Allison, Bucknell, Head Coach
Vini Baigan, UTRGV, Assistant Coach

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  1. Hi Guilherme tudo bem? My name is Roy Allen and I am the Sports Information Director at Florida SouthWestern. I know this article is a little bit older, but I wanted to let you know we have muito Brasiletas on our team as well!

    This season we had…
    Julia de Sa- Rio
    Giovanna Bello-Rio
    Amanda Mendes-Minas
    Raquel Costa e Silva-Parana
    Kellen Valentim- Minas
    Laura Ferrao- Brasilia
    Marina Alonso- Sao Paulo

    And our Head Coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen is also Brazilian!


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