Bianca Cugno, Argentina WU20

Bianca Cugno is one of Argentina's most promising talents and she is showing what she can do during the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship. Although her team will not be fighting for medals at the competition, Bianca has quickly become one of the players to follow in Rotterdam, which is where Argentina's matches are taking place.

Argentina’s top scorer in most of their matches so far (she hammered 21 points against Brazil in the opening match of play in Pool A), Bianca has big dreams that light her inner fire.

“My biggest dream is to compete at the Olympics. I am looking forward to following Tokyo 2020 and supporting Argentina from a distance. Furthermore, I hope that they will do big things! I had the chance to train several times with the group of players who are already on their way to Tokyo. It was a really good experience,” Bianca told Volleyball World.

Bianca is not only dreaming big, she is putting a lot of effort into achieving her goals. The next big step she will take is moving to Europe next season when she will play for Beziers Volley in France.

“This will be my first experience abroad. I am very happy because I have the chance to do this. I know that there will also be difficult moments, at least in the beginning, because I still don’t speak that much French. But I am sure that I will adapt and I will give my best. ¡Vamos Beziers!,” Bianca says asked about the “direct flight” that she is taking to the French League.

However, the beginning of her volleyball career wasn’t as easy. “I started playing volleyball at the age of six, but then I stopped at seven because balls were hitting me in the face,” the opposite hitter said.

She returned to a volleyball court at the age of 10 and never looked back. “I was doing skating at the same time, and I had to chose between the two. Because of my physique, I chose volleyball. I also had scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine), and volleyball helped me get better.”

Bianca joined Devoto, a club in her province of Cordoba, and has fond memories of her time there. “We had a good level. I learned a lot during trainings too. While I was there, I also received my first call-up to the national team in my age group. I remember we were at a tournament in Brazil. When I was called up, I couldn’t believe it in the beginning. Only by the end of the competition did I realize it what was happening properly.”

Bianca Cugno (11) and her teammates during the Women's U20 Worlds

From that point on, Cugno was always on Argentina’s roster, playing a pivotal role in the team. She was a Junior South American champion in 2018, when she was also picked as the Most Valuable Player.

“I am so proud of representing Argentina. Each time we sing the national anthem before the start of a match, I get goosebumps.”

Asked about what volleyball means to her, Bianca says that it just makes her happy. “When I enter the court, I just forget about everything - about problems that I might have, or about things that worry my mind. My only thought is about winning and keeping on rolling. Of course, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but everything helps us to grow.”