TAMPA - University of South Florida head coach Claire Lessinger and her staff have announced the addition of Maija Strazdina to the 2009 team.
"Maija has a rare combination of dynamic athleticism, natural ball control skills, and superior court awareness," said Lessinger. "She is agile and an offensive threat from all hitting zones. She has a big jump and a fast, high arm swing. Maija will have an immediate impact and is another mature addition to this squad and her drive and determination will allow her to adapt quickly to her surroundings. Maija has 16 sisters anxiously awaiting her arrival. We can't wait to get her in a Bulls uniform."
Strazdina, a 5-foot-10 top outside hitter, joins five other newcomers to the 2009 roster. The right-hander played for VK Ropazi, where she was named the best player in the 2009 Juniors Championship of Lativa. She also led her team to a third-place finish in the National Volleyball League and a first-place finish in the Championship of Riga and Championship of Riga region. In 2007 and 2008, her team finished in first place in the Championship of Latvia.
In addition, Strazdina competed in soccer and track where she participated in all events. She chose USF over Florida State University, South Carolina, Alabama, San Francisco, UCF, Pacific, St. John's, as well as many more.
USF opens the 2009 campaign at the Hurricane Invitational, playing against Prairie View A&M, Florida Gulf Coast and the University of Miami. The matchup of USF and the Panthers of Prairie View A&M at 3 p.m. on Friday. On the Saturday slate, the Bulls will take part in a morning/evening matchup when they face Florida Gulf Coast at 10 a.m. and Miami at 7:30 p.m.