Beginning his first season as the head coach of the University of Evansville volleyball team, Manolo Concepcion has announced the hiring of two assistants and a Director of Operations to his inaugural coaching staff for the 2013 campaign.
Concepcion’s staff includes first assistant Anita Bucur, second assistant/volleyball intern Rachel Vukson and Maria Fernandez Escoto, who will serve as the Director of Operations/graduate assistant.
“I want to thank John Stanley and Sarah Solinsky for allowing me to supply the players with the most capable & dynamic resources available by bringing position-specific distinctiveness to the table,” Concepcion said. “They all had outstanding careers as NCAA student-athletes. For example, Anita (1st Assistant) had an outstanding career as an Outside Hitter in the Sun-Belt Conference; Rachel (2nd Assistant) is described by her past coaches as a program-changer because of her leadership skills as a Setter; and Maria (Director of Operations) is recognized as one of the top Liberos in the history of the Big 12 Conference.”
“They also share the fact of being former National Team members for each of their countries, bringing vast national and international experience.”
Anita Bucur comes to UE from Arkansas Little Rock where she spent four years on the coaching staff as a student assistant and graduate assistant following her graduation from the program in 2009. She was also in charge academic advising for the Trojans.
As a player, Bucur was one of the most successful in UALR history, finishing her career ranked in the top six in kills, attempts, sets played and hitting percentage. As a senior in 2009, she posted an average of 3.78 kills per set on her way to being named a first team All-Sun Belt Conference player. Prior to her collegiate career, the native of Brasov, Romania helped her country to a championship as a member of the Junior National Team.
Coming to UE as the second assistant will be Rachel Vukson. A graduate and former player at the University of Central Florida, Vukson completed her playing career in 2011 and spent the last year as a compliance graduate assistant at Georgetown University.
She was one of the top setters in the nation as a senior, posting 11.97 assists per set, fifth in the country. Vukson received several accolades for her performance that season including: AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention, AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, All-Conference USA Second Team and Division I National Player of the Week by Sports Imports/AVCA and CVU.com on Sept. 5, 2011. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Vukson majored in education at UCF.
For the first time, the UE volleyball team will have a Director of Operations as Maria Fernandon Escoto will assume the position. One of the top players in the history of the Big 12 Conference, Escoto finished her career with 2,204 digs, second in conference history and No. 1 in the history of the University of Oklahoma program.
A 2013 graduate from OU, she is one of two players in program history to reach the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years with the school. Escoto was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2010 and 2012 while being named to the 2009 All-Big 12 Freshman Team. During her career at OU, she earned three Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week awards.
Following her collegiate career, the Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico product played in the Superior League in 2013, earning Pro League Rookie of the Year honors.
“The main goal is to bring new dimensions to this program,” Concepcion added. “I want teaching to become the bridge towards our individual and team growth. Present and future student-athletes of this program will benefit greatly of these additions.”