GIMCHEON, South Korea – Former NC State volleyball player Vanja Bukilic has signed a contract to play professional volleyball in South Korea for Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-Pass, as announced on May 13 by the club.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity that has come my way. It represents a significant chance for me to enhance my personal growth and gain valuable experience in the professional league. The team and league I will be joining has one of the strongest volleyball defenses globally and for me, as an attacker, with an exciting challenge to overcome and a valuable learning opportunity,” said Bukilic.
Wolfpack head coach Luka Slabe said, “The Pack Volleyball community is delighted for Vanja to sign a contract in Korea. The Korean national championship is one of the most competitive environments for professional volleyball. Some of the greats in our sport played in Korea in the last two decades. We wish Vanja the best of luck in her attempt to conquer the Korean volleyball championship.”
The six foot-six inch opposite from Belgrade, Serbia spent her final year of collegiate eligibility with the Wolfpack this past season. She led the team with 262 kills to average 2.60 per set and appeared in all but one match. She spent her first four seasons at Ohio State where she was tabbed All-Big Ten Second Team (2020-21) and Academic Team (2019, 2020). She was also an OSU Scholar-Athlete during her sophomore year.
Bukilic was one of 500 applicants for the Korean League and was later selected as one of 40 to earn a tryout. She flew to Istanbul, Turkey for tryouts and was later one of seven drafted by Hi-Pass.
“I always wanted to go pro, see how far I can go, and compete with others. I know I am a good volleyball player, but I want to see how good I am on the international level.”
Bukilic reports to Gimcheon on August 1 in preparation for her first season of professional volleyball in October.
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