Pitt volleyball adds notable SoCon Libero for 2020 season


Image via University of Pittsburgh Athletics

By Dominic Campbell, Senior staff writer

Coming off of the best season in program history, Pitt Volleyball is continuing to build and improve going into next year with the addition of a new transfer to the team.

Rising senior Libero Marija “Popche” Popovic will transfer from East Tennessee State University to join the Panthers for the 2020 season. 

Coming into her first year, Popovic was already seen as one of the best players in the Southern Conference and was named the Freshman of the Year and Libero of the Year in 2017. 

Popovic continued her success in her sophomore and junior seasons, winning the Libero of the Year in 2018 and then placing on the All-SoCon first team in 2018 and 2019.

Her sophomore and junior seasons were some of the best in ETSU history, with her digs ranking third best in 2018, posting 5.18 per frame, and fourth best in 2019, posting 4.46 per frame. 

With Popovic leading the team from the back, she was able to bring ETSU to three straight SoCon Tournament championships, winning the title in her first year in 2017. She also led the Buccaneers to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. 

Popovic is the third recruit in the 2020 class for the Panthers, alongside two outside hitters — junior college transfer Jordan Lockwood and incoming first-year Cat Flood. 

Pitt graduated five seniors from the 2019 team, which included starting Libero Halli Hillegas. As Popovic becomes the third libero on the roster, she will compete for the starting position against rising redshirt senior Avery Perosa and rising sophomore Ashley Browske.