Star volleyball senior talks about U.S. life, plans after college and of course, sports

Senior Maria Andonova has proven herself as a volleyball player.  At the MEAC Midyear Roundup in Orangeburg, S.C., she broke the conference and Florida A&M University records with 42 kills in one match. Her high skill level was displayed throughout the weekend with a total of 143 kills in six matches. 

This season, Andonova has 432 kills in 75 games and ranks second in the NCAA with a 5.76 kills per game average. Tuesday marked her last career home match at FAMU, and she topped it off with a spectacular performance. Her experience and leadership helped her team put a happy end to her final match at Gaither Gym.    What was on your mind going into the game versus Mercer knowing it was the last game you will play at FAMU?While I was playing, I didn’t think of it as being my last game. But now that I think of it, it is kind of sad.     How did you feel when you broke the MEAC and school records for kills in a match?I was excited! Coach told me after the game at the MEAC Roundup. I called my mom and dad back in Bulgaria.

Compare this year’s team to last year’s team. What is the biggest difference?The largest difference is that there are three freshmen this year, and last year’s team was more experienced.  This year the team was together for three months, and last year the team was together for three years. How has your role on the team changed?Coach always says I need to be more responsible. I feel more grown up as a player. How many years have you been playing volleyball?Twelve years. Did you try any other sports besides volleyball or did you always know volleyball was the only sport you wanted to play?I tried swimming, tennis and skiing, but when I started playing volleyball I didn’t play anything else. What is the largest transition or change you made when you came to the United States?I had to learn how to deal with being away from my family. I also didn’t know what to buy from the grocery store. What is your outlook on the rest of the season?I am sure we will win the MEAC again. I hope to make it past the second round because we always lose in the first round. But it depends on who we play. What differences do you notice between the United States and Bulgaria?Bulgaria is a small country and there is not a lot going on. I also like the way we dress in the U.S.  I can wear any color, but in Bulgaria every season it is a certain color that is in style. How many languages do you speak?Three. French, English and Bulgarian. What are your plans after leaving college?I want to go play professional volleyball in Europe. What will you miss most about FAMU?My team. Who is your favorite volleyball player?Antonia Zetova. She is a Bulgarian volleyball player who plays in Italy.  She is the best player in Italy. What CD is in your CD player right now?Bulgarian music and Tracy Chapman. What is something unique or interesting about you that people wouldn’t know?I really love animals. I like all kinds, but I guess my favorite would be dogs.