Girls' U19 World Championship 2023 - News.

Tia Kovco during the FIVB Girls' U19 World Championship

Co-hosts of the 2023 FIVB Girls’ U19 Volleyball World Championship, Croatia have been riding the wave, delivering good performances in Pool B of the preliminary phase of the competition. The players around head coach Sasa Ivanisevic finished second in the group, seizing four wins and losing only to favourites Türkiye.

Counting on great support on the stands, the young Croatian ladies could show they have potential and the future looks bright for them.

18-years-old libero Tia Kovco has been constantly lighting the volleyball fire, contributing for great team spirit. One of the weapons of Ivanisevic in many cases, having to her name 41 digs, 19 receptions, 10.25 average per match, and a success rate of 59.42 (statistics before the eight-final game of Croatia against Poland), Tia is thankful to the fans, supporting the Croatian team in Osijek.

“The atmosphere is great, and the spectators are excellent. We are very proud of how we played, but we are always looking forward as there is always room for improvement.”

The 168 cm tall libero started with volleyball by a lucky chance.

“I started with volleyball when I was 10-years-old. In my school, all my classmates were playing volleyball just for fun, so I actually caught up with them and started playing. This is how it all started, and I am feeling very lucky because of it. Now, I really enjoy volleyball, it’s I basically the first thing in my life.”

Enjoying volleyball for Tia means she gets to be the one, bringing up the fighting spirit on the court, while lighting up the mood. For that, she has chosen the role of libero - one that fits her best both on a technical and mental level.

“I like that I get to be very loud on the court and I need to be very fast. I like bringing the atmosphere, to help the team feel united, together. But most of all, volleyball to me is fun, and I just like playing it!”

Kovco celebrating with her teammates from the Girls' U19 national team

Kovco celebrating with her teammates from the Girls' U19 national team

On a club level, Kovco is playing in OK Split, and so far, the experience at the Worlds is her greatest one.

“This, here, now - this is my best volleyball moment so far. I am getting to play with the national team, and it is my first time competing on the world stage. I am really very happy and can’t wait to play our next games.”

While Tia is executing her duties with the Girls U19 team, the women’s national team of Croatia is getting ready for the upcoming CEV Volleyball European Championship, and the young libero has a message to the players that will soon embark on an #EuroVolleyW journey:

“I hope that you are all well, and I know that your hard-work will pay off. Have fun, smile and create a good atmosphere”

Kovco concentrated during the game Croatia against Dominican Republic

Kovco concentrated during the game Croatia against Dominican Republic

Dreaming of joining the squad one day, Tia is not sure of who her dream teammate would be. Smiling, she says there are too many great players to choose from, and, respectively, learning volleyball lessons from each one of them. However, one thing she has clear - she would love to play in Italy or in Türkiye.

“I would like to play with the players from Türkiye or Italy, because I think they are the best out there.”

Outside the court, Tia has loves to go out with friend, watch movies and enjoy some ice cream. However, volleyball is not exactly missing from her schedule, as she likes to play beach volleyball as well.

And while enjoying the game, she is also paying attention to what specialists are sharing with her. The biggest volleyball lesson so far?

“The mind is the most important thing. If that doesn’t work, nothing can work”

Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Boys' U19 World Championship
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