Serbian sisters take on collegiate volleyball

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The National Football League has the Manning brothers, the Association of Tennis Professionals has the William sisters, Major League Baseball has the Molina brothers and California Baptist University has the Dragovic sisters.

They are not twins and they do not regret leaving their beautiful home of Serbia. Standing 6’3” and 6’2” respectively, sisters Jelena and Nevena Dragovic are on the rise of achieving their dream to reach the Professional Volleyball League. These ambitious sisters consider themselves blessed to be a part of the volleyball team, as CBU has already made history this year with a first ever 18-0 record so far this season.

Not even halfway into the season, the girls have already made quite a name for themselves. Middle blocker Jelena had a break-out match against Point Loma in Sept. with 14 kills and hitting an impressive .591 while also serving three aces. Also, setter Nevena assisted the kill that brought the Lancers out of a slump against Azusa Pacific University.

The sisters said, “it’s very different here. The season is longer and the equipment here is more advanced. Also, in Serbia you can’t play a sport and get an education. It was either one or the other so we are very blessed to come to Cal Baptist. It has affected our lives in the most positive way.”

Though the sisters were pursing five schools, CBU caught their interest due to research on the Internet stating the fact that it is a top ranked school. After seeing this, they contacted the volleyball coach. “Coach Ryan McGuyre replied right away and he was willing to offer almost everything we hoped,” Jelena said.

“Coach means so much to us,” Nevena said. “We have had good communication from the very beginning with him.”

The sisters thank their father for shaping them into the athletes they are today. All that practice is finally paying off.

“We will win the National Championships this year. I can feel it. Ambition is what keeps this team winning,” Jelena said.

Nevena added, “The chemistry we have with each other here is something you can’t explain, you have to experience it to understand.“

Jelena is the serious one of the two. At every game she wears tape around her wrist and written on it are the words, “Just Believe.”

“When I go up for a block or fall on the court, I always see those words on my wrist and it keeps me going,” she explained.

Then there’s Nevena, always laughing and making jokes. She told her teammates from the start that she’s the goofiest person they will ever meet, but when she’s on the court and looks her opponents in the eyes, the jokes stop. It’s game time.