Valentina Petrova Selected as GEICO Alumni of the Month
Nova Southeastern Athletics would like to recognize former volleyball player Valentina Petrova as its September 2019 GEICO Alumni of the Month.
Called Valia by her teammates and coaches, Petrova was a record-breaking, three-year performer for the Sharks after transferring from Lees-McCrae, rising to all challenges to become the program’s first All-American, receiving the honor from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 2008 and 2009.
During her tenure as setter for the Sharks, Petrova led the program to its first NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2008, racking up an NSU-record 3,827 career assists, while also listing at third in service aces (151), ninth in digs (969), seventh in attack percentage (.257) and tenth in digs per game (2.67).
En route to her assists record, Petrova set the season record at 1,520 (2007) and holds the third-best at 1,370 (2008). Marking five in her career, she holds the record for most matches with 61 or more assists in the NCAA era. She also has claim on the top two season assists per set of 10.86 (2007) and 10.65 (2009), and ranks second in aces with 85 during her 2008 campaign – aces leader during the NCAA era.
In addition to her All-American Accolades, Petrova was a three-time All-South Region and three-time All-Sunshine State Conference honoree, and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the NCAA South Regional in 2008.
“Being a student-athlete at NSU really made me into the person I am today,” Petrova told NSUSharks.com. “It impacted my life tremendously, since I, like every other student-athlete had to learn how to manage my time, be responsible and committed, stay positive and value teamwork – All things needed in life. With the help of my coaches at the time, Steve Wilcosky and Michelle Piantadosi, all my teammates and everyone else from the staff, I was able to grow and learn so much about volleyball and become not only an athlete that played professionally after finishing college but also a person grateful for the opportunities given to me.”
Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, after graduating from NSU with her bachelors in Sport and Recreation Management in 2010, Petrova went on to play professionally in Europe for ASD Volley Euroambiente Manfredonia in Italy, helping the team to reach the finals in her lone season on the roster. Petrova played three additional seasons in the south of France for Volley-Ball Romans of the National 2 Division in Romans-sur-Isère. During her second season, the squad was among the top two teams in the division and qualified to move to the Elite Division the next season, for which Petrova returned. Following her third season with the club, she moved to Luxembourg to live, play and coach.
Petrova and her husband Martin are now settled in Trier, Germany near the nation’s border with Luxembourg, and are parents to sons three-year-old Daniel and one-year-old Jeremy. Although she continued to coach after the birth of her first son, now is a time to focus on family. However, Petrova is considering opportunities to further her education and focus on childcare education.
“It was really good to be able to play few more seasons after graduating and enjoy the sport that I love so much and I am so passionate about,” Petrova said. “I met wonderful people and was very lucky to play with some fantastic girls, travel across Europe and have the summers off.”