AUSTIN, Texas — Heading into its final regular season matches against TCU and presumably a spot in the NCAA Tournament this spring, international reinforcements have arrived for the No. 2 Texas volleyball team.
Two international players, outside hitters Adhu Malual (Italy) and Melanie Parra (Mexico), will join the squad, head coach Jerritt Elliot announced Wednesday.
Malual, who hails from Rome, has plenty of high-level experience, having competed for the U18 and U19 Italian National Teams in 2018 and 2019. Elliott said the 6-foot-2-inch Malual will provide depth to the team and "has a live arm."
“I chose Texas because it offers me the opportunity to play at a high level and to focus on my studies," Malual said in a statement released through the UT athletic department. "Texas provides the kind of opportunity that all student-athletes dream of. I think it’s the right choice for me.”
Parra, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, also is a versatile outside hitter who Elliott said is "very proficient in every skillset." As a 16-year-old, she was already playing at the 2018 FIVB World Championships for the Mexican National team, and led her home country to a first-place finish in its pool at the 2017 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Volleyball Championship.
"I think [Parra] will remind a lot of people of former Longhorn Amy Neal, with her great body balance in the air and great command of the ball," Elliott said. "She is a fun player to watch.”