A long way from Milan: Civita chases volleyball dreams to Wichita State

Itallian star Giorgia Civita has already recorded over 1,000 digs in just over 200 sets played — surpassing the mark faster than anyone else in Wichita State history.


Joseph Barringhaus

Wichia State’s Giorgia Civita digs the ball during their game against Tulane on Sept. 21, 2018 at Koch Arena.

Sophomore Giorgia Civita is a long way from home.

Civita was born in Italy and grew up around Milan. While in Italy, the rising star won multiple awards — including best libero in Italy two years. She also was named best libero at the European Championships in Belgium, while playing for Italy’s U18 team.

That’s when Civita’s brother asked her if she wanted to come to the United States to play volleyball.

“My brother asked me if I wanted to experience a different experience,” Civita said. “He asked me if I wanted to come to the states to learn English and play volleyball.”

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State’s Giorgia Civita serves the ball at WSU’s season home-opener against Tulane.

After thinking it over, Civita decided to test the waters. She sent her tape to 50 schools nationwide and patiently waited for a reply.

Only a few schools answered her. One was Wichita State.

No one was more excited to see her tape than WSU Associate Head Coach Sean Carter.

“Sean (Carter) told me he would keep in contact with me, and he did,” Civita said. “He called me every month to hear my stance on things. It showed me how much they wanted me to play here.”

Civita traveled nearly 5,100 miles to make her official visit to WSU.

“It was amazing to come and see what they had to offer,” Civita said. “At the end of the day, I knew that Wichita was the place for me.”

After redshirting her freshman season, Civita has had an immediate impact on Head Coach Chris Lamb’s team.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State’s Giorgia Civita digs at the ball. Civita leads the team in digs this season. She had a career-high 42 digs in Saturday’s five-set game against Tulsa.

Civita has already recorded over 1,000 digs in just over 200 sets played — surpassing the mark faster than anyone else in program history.

“The main goal is about winning — you aren’t thinking about records,” Civita said. “At the end of the day though, it’s pretty cool to hold that record.”

Civita is on a tear this season for the Shockers. She has recorded 285 digs through 51 sets played this season. In Saturday’s loss to Tulsa, Civita surpassed her career-high with 42 digs. That record marks third among five-set digs in WSU’s history.

Civita was an integral piece of a team that went 20-0 in the American Athletic Conference a season ago, leading WSU to host their first-ever NCAA Tournament regional. Now she’s a featured piece of a team that’s struggled with blocking.

“We’ve been up and down some to start the season,” Civita said. “Playing the harder teams early on has helped us learn to fight, and most of the time it’s on us rather than the other team when we go into rough patches.”

Civita has learned to assume more of a role leading the WSU defense this season. The Shockers lost outside hitter Emma Wright, who accounted for more than half the team’s blocking. This team, Lamb has said, resembles the kinds of teams Civita played with in Italy — limited in point scorers.

Brian Hayes
Wichita State defensive specialist Giorgia Civita (19) lays on the ground after missing a block during the match against Iowa State in Koch Arena on Sunday afternoon. (Sept. 9/17/17, 2017)

Lamb called Civita his best defender, and has said that she can defend at “the highest level.”

“Her thought is see it, go get it,” Lamb said.

Civita is confident WSU can work through the early-season adversity.

“When we learn how to overcome those mistakes, this team will be an entirely different team moving forward,” Civita said.

Selena Favela
Wichita State libero Giorgia Civita digs the ball during the game against Memphis Sunday afternoon at Koch Arena.