Texas senior Chiaka Ogbogu (21) is recognized by head coach Jerritt Elliott on Nov. 8, 2017 for becoming the school's all-time leader in block assists. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Volleyball

Texas’ Chiaka Ogbogu to begin her professional career in Italy

Posted January 14th, 2018

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An All-American from Texas will next play volleyball in Italy.

Texas senior Chiaka Ogbogu announced on Sunday that she will continue her volleyball career with Il Bisonte Firenze, a professional team in Italy. According to Ogbogu, the Florence-based club plays in the top league in Italy. The club’s roster features Daly Santana, who played for the Minnesota team that Texas beat in the 2015 Final Four.

In November, Ogbogu told the American-Statesman that she hoped to start her career in Italy.

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My 2018 goal is to actively welcome and seek gratitude. Thanking God that I have the opportunity to play professionally in Italy and finish out the season with @ilbisontevolley. Grateful for all the people I've annoyed with my overseas questions who have been more than helpful. Grateful to be apart of the @texasvolleyball family so big that I can call on players from different eras for help and be overwhelmed with their support. Grateful for @tavvolleyball and all the people involved who help keep me in shape and give me a home away from home. Grateful for Brett Bell for continuously encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone. Let's get it poppin😜! #gelato #carbs #vino #andsomevolley🇮🇹

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A 6-2 middle blocker, Ogbogu just completed one of the best careers in UT history. Ogbogu is one of three Longhorns to earn AVCA All-American honors during all four years of her career. She is also the school’s all-time leader in blocks (537) and block assists (497).

This past season, Ogbogu’s 1.64 blocks per set ranked third nationally. Her .402 hitting percentage was bested by only 13 players, and the Big 12 Player of the Year averaged 2.58 kills per set.

Gilbert moves on: UT junior libero Natalie Gilbert, who won a state championship at Coppell High in 2012 alongside Ogbogu, also won’t return to Texas in 2018. Gilbert has a year of eligibility remaining, but she will instead focus on her graduate studies. (Gilbert is set to graduate this spring with a degree in corporate communication).

Gilbert appeared in only two matches over her first two years on campus. In 2017, however, Gilbert developed into a serving specialist for the Longhorns.

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