DENTON - North Texas volleyball head coach Andrew Palileo
rounded out his 2018 roster with a third Division I transfer and a signee from Brazil.
Defensive specialist Olivia Petnicki comes to Denton after two years at Pacific, where she played both indoor and beach volleyball for the Tigers. The first international player to join the program since Roxana Casvean in 2007, outside hitter Yasmin de Lara hails from Curitiba, Brazil.
Petnicki played in 60 sets, compiling 42 digs, four service aces and three assists, and helped Pacific to a National Invitational Volleyball Championship appearance in 2017. She recorded a career-high two aces and season-best five digs in a five-set loss to Montana State in 2017. As a freshman, Petnicki posted a career-high eight digs in a win over West Virginia.
"We were looking for a little more experience and depth at the libero position," Palileo said. "She played quite a bit at Pacific and, from what I've seen and heard, she can go get the ball and scramble around very well."
From 2015-17, de Lara played under Mean Green volunteer assistant coach Luiz Lima
for Clube Curitibano. A member of the Paraná state team, she participated in the Copa do Brazil de Voleibol, a national tournament held annually. A two-time champion in her home state of Parana, de Lara was invited to practice with the national beach volleyball team.
"She's a good live arm at that pin position and we're excited to have her," Palileo said. "It's just a matter of how long it'll take for her to acclimate to the U.S. style of play. On a personal level, we hope she won't get too homesick, but we all take those chances. I think she'll transition well."
The two additions make up a North Texas roster that will feature nine newcomers in 2018. Palileo signed six freshman and brought in three Division I transfers to join his six returners. The Mean Green have just four upperclassmen, including Petnicki, who will have two years of eligibility remaining.