Top US collegiate freshman competing in Lucerne for Latvia

Lucerne, Switzerland, May 9, 2018 - Last week at this time, Tina Graudina was being honored in the United States as the Pac-12 Conference as the collegiate league's freshman of the year.

This week, Graudina is playing for Latvia on the FIVB World Tour as she teams with Anastasija Kravcenoka as the pair begins competing here Thursday in the US$150,00 Lucerne Open as the 11th-seeded team in the women's tournament.

Playing with junior Abril Bustamante (Redondo Beach, Calif.) as the University of Southern California's No. 1 team, Graudina and her Women of Troy partner finished the season with a 31-2 match mark.  USC, three-time collegiate and two-time NCAA champions, finished the season with a 27-14 dual record and fourth in last week's national finals in Gulf Shores, Ala.

A 6-footer from Jurmala, Latvia, Graudina will be playing in her third FIVB World Tour event this season with Kravcenoka in Lucerne as the pair finished ninth last November in Australia (Sydney) and 17th in January at The Hague, The Netherlands.  The Latvians, who have a 5-4 FIVB match mark, lost the gold medal match in mid-January at the European Tour stop in Pelhrimova in the Czech Republic.

Graudina also earned the gold medal at the 2016 under22 European Championship with Kravcenoka and placed first at the 2015 under-18 European Championship with Paula Neciporuka.  Graudina also placed third in the 2014 under17 World Championships with Linda Gramberga and ninth at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games with Kravcenoka.


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