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Monday, October 25, 2021

Volleyball

Toazzi steps up in senior campaign


Outside hitter Marluci Toazzi has been dependable for the Cougars, chipping in with 114 kills and 13 blocks for the season. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

Outside hitter Marluci Toazzi has been dependable for the Cougars, chipping in with 114 kills and 13 blocks for the season. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

As a senior outside hitter, Marluci Toazzi is sure of her role on the court.

“I think the way is having a solid pass, serving tough and keeping the ball in play,” she said. “If the sets are not good, just keep the ball in play. Make the right decisions about the ball you get.”

Consistent is the right word to describe Toazzi.

As she approaches her final games as a member of the team, she has time to reflect on her career, which started at the age of seven.

Born in Brazil, Toazzi played club volleyball for the majority of her life. Everything changed after she was recruited by Gabi Carbone, a former UH assistant coach also from Brazil.

“When I got done with high school, I was playing for my club team,” she said. “Gabi Carbone went to Brazil to recruit. She saw me and started talking to me and I decided to come here.”

But Toazzi was not a Cougar yet. She attended Arizona Western College due to class requirements and played there for two seasons. Then she transferred to UH to compete in her last two years of eligibility.

After playing volleyball for so many years, Toazzi is ready to feel what it’s like to be an average college student, minus the daily practices and weekend trips.

“To be honest, I’m ready to get the experience to be a regular student,” she said.

To complete her marketing major, Toazzi must stay enrolled until 2012. After she graduates, Toazzi is certain she will continue her career either here or in Brazil.

She will continue to follow the sport, but won’t compete seriously unless the opportunity appears.

“I don’t know if I’m still going to play,” she said. “I had some plans before getting here to go to Europe and play, but if something shows up I will definitely think about it.”

Toazzi is currently concentrating on helping her team reach second place in the Conference USA standings. With that ranking, they have a chance to attend nationals.

Under the enthusiasm of first-year head coach Molly Alvey, Toazzi said that she thinks the team will secure a berth.

“She has found a way to keep the team together and coach us to do a better job with putting up a better effort. She makes us listen to her. She’s really excited when you get the job done,” Toazzi said. “She’s always encouraging you all the time.”

As for her teammates, Toazzi thinks they are an enjoyable bunch to compete alongside with.

“You have fun when you are with them,” she said. “They are joking all the time and I’m laughing when I’m with them, that’s what makes me excited to play with them.”

Toazzi said playing a sport competitively has helped her in other facets of life.

“The biggest thing volleyball has done for me is to help me become a more organized person,” Toazzi said. “I’m better at time management, and getting things done in the time needed.

“Volleyball makes you follow rules, too. You listen to that person and you respect those coaches.”

But when it comes to smacking that ball over the net, Toazzi draws her power from somewhere else — her desire to win.

“I’m definitely a person who plays to win,” she said. “I want to be a person who plays to win, not lose.”

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