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Margherita and Federica have been the go-to couple at Florida International University for almost four years. United on and off the pitch, they have always made their friendship and harmony the winning weapon. Together, they have won two All-American titles and have a historic appearance in the NCAA Finals. Their paths diverged due to the pandemic. Back in Italy after a season nipped in the bud, Margherita has embarked on a path with the national team while Federica continues to carry the FIU name high while undertaking a prestigious master’s degree in engineering. Today we offer you something different, an interview made by Margherita to her ex-partner Federica.

Your path has been different from the initial plans. First you started university in Italy, then the decision of Florida. What made you change your mind? “Playing beach volleyball at a high level while also attending engineering school was almost impossible in Italy. Ours is a country with many merits, but either you are a student or you are an athlete. An aspect that does not facilitate sportsmen and women who also have university ambitions. In America, on the other hand, I could be a full-fledged student-athlete. I’m glad I made the decision to leave and if I had to go back I would do it again. Not only do I have the opportunity to study, but I also travel around the USA and play on beaches frequented by the best AVP players!”

What kind of environment did you find at FIU?’ Of course, in this question you will have to mention me! “The environment was immediately very welcoming, there was an air of opportunity and people immediately trusted me. Margherita had already been in the USA for a year and helped me to settle in and laugh in the most difficult moments (I told you that she mentioned me!). Miami is an incredible city, an incredible pool of different cultures. This is also why I have never felt excluded. It’s a city that welcomes everyone.”

You study engineering – it’s not for nothing that I left the pre-race tactics to you! – Why this choice and what would you like to do professionally once you finish your studies? “Since I was a child I had a certain affinity with scientific subjects and over time I realized that engineering was my path, a sort of vocation. I have always had the desire to be part of something that went beyond the idea of the individual, I wanted to do a profession that would allow me to make a contribution to the community. That’s why I like construction engineering so much, I would like to build roads and bridges to connect people.”

Let’s take a step back, when did you start thinking about wanting to study in the United States? What has been the support of Sportlinx360? “For me, the process of going to the U.S. was very fast, I decided relatively late. Luckily Sportlinx360 helped me with all the documents I had to hand in to leave. Usually other girls develop the idea of doing college in the USA during high school. I, on the other hand, decided during my first year of university in Italy.”

To close, your sister also plays beach volleyball. Leaving aside the fact that I live her badly because I am not your blood sister and I suffer from this, what effect does it have to play with her? “I started volleyball thanks to my sister because as a child I always went to see her. But it’s thanks to me that my sister started playing beach volleyball! Playing with her is beautiful, we are very close but this thing unites us even more. She currently plays for a club in Rome.”

FIU is currently ranked thirteenth in the NCAA’s provisional rankings. One of the best universities for beach volleyball in America. The Panthers have an overall record of 6 wins, including one against a very good Stetson team, and 4 losses.