Italian duo helps FIU find beach volleyball success

FIU Beach Volleyball coach Rita Buck-Crockett recruited two Italian players not knowing they had shared the court in their former years.

Margherita Bianchin, originally from Venice, and Federica Frasca, originally from Rome, played at the Under-21 European Championships before becoming teammates at FIU. This year was meant to be their senior season, but the coronavirus pandemic canceled all duals past March 10. The duo led FIU to its first Beach Volleyball NCAA tournament appearance in 2018. Last year, they fell short. This season, they started 9-0.

They feared COVID-19 before it even hit the states. With Bianchin’s parents on the frontlines in Italy – her mom as a pediatrician in Venice and her father in charge of risk management at a hospital outside the city – their family and friends were describing the scene saying ‘this is going to end bad’. Now, the CASE students are hoping for a re-do.

To read the feature story by Andrea Adelson, visit ESPN.