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Athlete to Watch: Veronica Marin

Submitted by Kolton Rutherford on September 22, 2016 – 12:55 pmNo Comment

Volleyball season is off and running! On Labor Day Weekend, the Trojan Volleyball team hosted the first ever Little Rock Invitational, a gathering of teams from around the region, including Oklahoma, UAPB, Mississippi State and the University of Tennessee-Martin. At the invitational, Trojan athlete Veronica Marin shined.

Veronica, a 19-year-old sophomore, followed an interesting path to Little Rock. She was born in Tulcea, Romania, and began playing volleyball at the age of 5. As her game improved, Marin moved to a larger city, Bucharest, to continue playing volleyball. She even had the honor of captaining Romania’s junior volleyball team; a privilege that comes with challenges, but also taught her responsibility.

“Being the captain for the national team was exciting but also hard,” Marin said. “I was chosen to be the captain by my teammates, not by the coaches, and that gave me confidence in my new position. However, I went through a couple hard moments because I had to deal with every issue in the team and report everything to the coaches. I really didn’t enjoy that.”

Marin’s play in Romania attracted the attention of UALR assistant coaches Todd Bourdo and Anita Bucur, who recruited her to join the Trojans.

Her adjustment to Little Rock was smooth, with her coaches and teammates providing support. She was concerned about her English, but her teammates helped her along the way. Trojan Volleyball Head Coach Van Compton praised her smooth transition and ability to adapt.

Marin did not miss a beat in the classroom. She holds a 3.8 GPA, an impressive achievement when you consider the environment change and team commitments.

She loves the people of Little Rock, citing their friendliness and willingness to help. She also loves the Natural State for its varied wildlife and environments. “I like the nature here and wish I could have time to explore all the beauties Arkansas can offer.” While Veronica has come to love many things about our state, there’s one thing that cannot compare to her home of Romania. “I will definitely say that I miss the food from back home. No matter what place I eat at, I cannot compare it to the food at home.”

In regards to the current Trojan Volleyball season, Veronica sees the team’s goal as making it into the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, where anything can happen. She’s set a personal goal for this year too: making the All Sun Belt First Team.

Coach Compton also said about Marin, “…Veronica’s a very good student and has good character… She’s very sociable, a great teammate who always tries to make her teammates better.” Compton also cited her versatility and coachability. Marin came to Little Rock as a middle blocker, but played on the right side last year. This year, they converted her to another position, on the outside. “She’s been a great addition to our team, both as a student and an athlete.”

When she’s not playing volleyball, she’s in the classroom. Marin majors in International Business and plans to pursue a Master’s degree at UALR. In her limited free time, she likes to hang out with her teammates, go to movies and playing beach volleyball. “I spend a lot of time with my teammates outside of volleyball. We are more than teammates; we are a big family,” she said.

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