Alyne Bianchi and Clarissa Weber have had similar journeys through life.
Both grew up in the same foreign country and came to the United States to attend the same junior college.
And now both are starring for Dalton State College’s inaugural volleyball team.
Despite losing its first match Tuesday to Southern Wesleyan University, the event began a new era for the Roadrunners. It was the first sports event for Dalton State in three decades, when then-Dalton Junior College halted its men’s basketball, golf and tennis programs.
And Bianchi and Weber are forever connected for being part of that milestone.
Then again, their connections go farther than the Carpet Capital.
Bianchi and Weber are both from Brazil and both went to school in spring 2013 at Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas. Both transferred to Dalton State to be part of the Roadrunners relaunched athletics program and leaders on the volleyball team.
“We emailed a bunch of schools and said we really wanted to go together,” Bianchi said.
Bianchi is from Rio De Janeiro, located along the east coast of the country. Weber is from Noba Petropolis, which is about as far South as Brazil goes. The two became friends in Texas during that one semester, but Bianchi finished her two years at the junior college and was looking for a new school to complete her four-year education. Weber only spent one year at the school and said she needed a change of scenery.
And that’s where Dalton State volleyball coach Bruna Langner — another Brazilian connection — became part of their story.
“Our agent (international study abroad coordinator) told us Bruna was from Brazil and is a coach here. We talked to her and she saw our video and stats online,” Bianchi said. “She said to us, ‘You guys are good players.’”
Trying to start a volleyball program from scratch, Langner was immediately interested in the two.