Italy’s Zambelli Orvieto has signed the first international transfer of its history: recent Brazilian Georgia Tech graduate Gabriela Stavnetchei. The soon to be 22-year-old 5’10” outside hitter started all of her team’s 31 games as a senior, scored 15 double-doubles, and was named to the All-ACC First Team, All-ACC Academic First Team, and AVCA All-Region East Coast Team.
Here are her first words as a professional:
“My first impression of the sports club is that it has a very clear goal for next season and will do everything to achieve it, this motivates me a lot. From the first contact with the management I have already felt an immediate harmony with the team and with those who work there. Everyone is very attentive and very receptive and I am very grateful to them. Speaking with coach Solforati I had the opportunity to learn a little more about the team, the championship that ended with the semi-finals of the playoffs, and the Coppa Italia which is another of the objectives. I am confident that the coming season will be even better than the previous one.
The Italian championship is one of the strongest in the world, having the opportunity to take part in it is very rewarding and certainly the dream of many athletes. The championship is long and very balanced, which requires a lot of concentration and determination. It is also very competitive, so it will be necessary to pay attention to every aspect as they will all be of great importance. I am very excited to join the Az family and play in a championship that is famous all over the world. I can not wait to get to Italy to work with the team and achieve great things together.
The first reason why I chose Italy was definitely the Orvieto team. As I said, since the first contact I was very well received and there was an immediate agreement with all those who work for the club, they made me feel at home. Playing volleyball at a high level as you can do in the Italian league is a dream, and this, together with the team’s goals for next season, are more than enough reasons for pushing me to move to Italy. Another reason is that I have heard wonderful things about Italy and its culture is extraordinary. I’m used to the affection and passion of the people around me, I already understand that Italians have a lot of it. I think I will adapt very well in the country and in the new club.”
At Zambelli Orvieto, Gabriela will find a club that finished its last A2 season with an 18-14 record, good enough for 8th place in the standings. It fell to Marignano in the semifinals after surprisingly eliminating the third seed Mondovi at the competition’s quarterfinals.