Dalton High volleyball Coach Bruna Langner traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to sign Larissa Bianchi to a letter of intent. Shown, from left, are Alyne Bianchi (sister and future teammate), Jose Bianchi (father), Luciane Bianchi (mother), Larissa Bianchi, and DS Volleyball Coach Bruna Langner.
A talented Brazilian volleyball family is keeping Dalton State on their minds.
Roadrunner Coach Bruna Langner has traveled to Rio de Janeiro and signed the sister of current DS star Alyne Bianchi.
Like her sister, Larissa Bianchi is a born athlete.
“Since I was a little girl I’ve been watching my family play volleyball,” Larissa said. “My (maternal) grandfather played for the national Brazilian team so even before I was born, my mom knew I was going to play.”
But her athletic credentials include more than just volleyball. “As long as I can remember I’ve been an athlete,” she added. “I started with swimming and gymnastics, then went to synchronized swimming, and finally to volleyball when I was about 11 years old. Since then I have been playing on a team called Flamengo.”
Bianchi said going to her first Brazilian national championship sealed her love for the sport.
“It was like everything was perfect, school was still easy and fun, I practiced every afternoon and went to an English course class at night,” she said.
“It wasn’t until I was 13 that I realized volleyball was not to be taken for granted. In the year of 2009, I went to my first national championship and the fact that I was going to skip school for a week made everything more exciting. We stayed in a hotel with our teammates and coaches, no parents allowed. It was then, I knew this was what I wanted, to be an athlete. There was nothing more fun than to play volleyball, we had to wake up early and go to the court to play or practice, that full week was the most amazing experience. We kept going to the championship every year, and when it was the last day of the “trip” we hoped that next year we would be able to go.”
Bianchi also played volleyball for her school. “I can say proudly that we won state every year.”
The 5’9” outside and right side hitter is looking forward to joining Alyne as a Roadrunner. “Nothing will be like playing for a college in the USA,” Bianchi said. “I can’t wait to play for Dalton State and I know that this season has a lot in store for our team.”