They have made HCC women's volleyball history, and they did it with an unusual twist. How they accomplished this feat is "What's Right with Tampa Bay."
They are certainly jumping for joy at Hillsborough Community College these days. Their volleyball team is ranked third in the entire nation for Division One junior college.
"So it is really exciting, feels like all the hard work has paid off," said assistant volleyball coach Monica Medvid said.
While they have their share of strong local athletes on the team. They also have an array of young women from all over the world.
"One girl from New Zealand, one girl from Germany, one girl from Spain, and three from Puerto Rico," Monica said.
Mariam Maldonado is from Puerto Rico and has been playing for the Hawks for two years.
"The first reason why I came here is to get like another experience for school and volleyball," Mariam said.
Andrea Tauai is from New Zealand. She was recruited by HCC and couldn't wait to get here.
"To come to America was a big, huge thing, so it's a great experience," Andrea said.
As the team started the season, their goal was to make it to the top, but even they admit it's happened quickly. In fact, never before in the history of HCC has its volleyball team been ranked this high.
"I think that we are a little bit deeper, so I think our competition in our practice gym is really pushing the girls to play at a higher level," head volleyball coach Gary Larkin said.
And yes, hard work has taken them far, but coach Larkin says chemistry is the winning formula.
"We try to get everybody to share different culture, traditions and different things so that we can all kind of learn a little bit about everybody, and our team loves it," Coach Larkin said. "They really enjoy that part of it."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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