By Kayleigh Brown
A Brazilian born volleyball coach with a history of recruiting international players and fielding champion teams will be building up the new FSW volleyball program starting in fall 2019.
Thais Baziquetto-Allen is excited to be building the program at FSW. She wants to create a blend of players from all over and thinks Florida is a great place to do it.
“Once in a life time career opportunity,” she said. “You don’t always get to get the privilege to start something from the ground.”
The FSW volleyball program has been in planning for more than a year. Play will begin in the 2019 fall semester, when student athletes enroll.
Baziquetto-Allen has recruited 13 players. Six of her players are from Brazil, one is from Germany, one is from Bulgaria, and five are from the U.S.
“Bringing international players to a junior college is a great gateway for them to play and transition into bigger universities,” she said.
Baziquetto-Allen has a history of recruiting players internationally. As head coach of the Seward County Community College Lady Saints in Liberal, Kansas, she recruited eight players from Brazil.
She believes that she can use the world for recruiting, but she’s not overlooking local players.
“Florida volleyball is really good, and you can get the high-level players as well here,” Baziquetto-Allen said.
Baziquetto-Allen came to the United States at 18 in 2005 to play for St. Petersburg Community College and graduated in 2008 from Western New Mexico University.
After college, Baziquetto-Allen became an assistant coach at Lamar Community College in 2009. She moved on to coach at Liberal High School in Liberal, Kansas in 2010. In 2014, she became an assistant coach at Seward County Community College and moved up to head coach in 2015.
In 2018, Baziquetto-Allen was hired as head coach at FSW and has been recruiting ever since.
She will be recruiting from big competitions like the AAU tournament in Orlando, Philadelphia and Indianapolis. She is also looking at local high schools, such as Bishop Verot, Canterbury, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers
The volleyball team will play in the Suncoast Conference and compete against St. Petersburg College, Hillsborough Community College and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota.