Rhode Island has landed an addition to its roster via the transfer market in Natale Zanellato, an outside hitter who was previously at Memphis. Zanellato will be a redshirt sophomore for the 2018 season with the Rams and have three seasons left of play.
The 6’0″ pin spent two seasons previously with the Tigers, redshirting as a true freshman in 2016 before appearing in 64 sets across 21 matches (with five starts) in 2017. Over the course of last year, she went on to record 145 kills (2.27 per set) on a .175 hitting percentage, 47 digs (0.73 per set), 18 blocks (0.28 per set), four assists and a pair of aces. Her career best mark in kills (17) came in September against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, while her most digs (11) were against Cincinnati in late October.
A native of Vienna, Virginia, Zanellato attended James Madison High School and played with Metro American program and ICE Elite travel program prior to her stint at Memphis. Her final two years were quite the send-off, as she won back-to-back state championships and had a school record for kills (28) come in the state championship finals as a junior. Additionally she was twice an all-conference pick in addition to several other awards and team victories at both the high school and club level.
The move gives Rhode Island a sixth outside hitter on their 2018 roster that features one senior, one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen.
The Rams season will begin on August 24 against Loyola Marymount in a tournament that also features Hofstra and Temple. They are coming off of a 12-16 campaign in 2017 in which they wound up in fifth place of the Atlantic 10 at 6-8 in league play and 12-16 overall.