Lausanne, Switzerland, March 29, 2017 – Two years ago Maria Andrea ‘Mandi’ Orellana had her promising career rudely interrupted while competing at the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Orellana and her partner and elder sister Maria Jose Orellana were in the midst of their second match of the tournament, against Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova, when Orellana tore her anterior cruciate ligaments.
Despite the injury the then 19-year-old remained upbeat about her Netherlands 2015 experience.
“It is an honour to be able to represent a country in the World Championships and having the opportunity to play with my sister it’s the best feeling ever, I don’t have words to explain it,” Orellana said at the time.
The injury put paid to their participation in the Netherlands 2015 and meant she also had to miss the Toronto 2015, Pan-American Games. However, she returned to fitness for the start of the US Collegiate Season and has shown the sort of form that earned her and her sister a place at the Netherlands 2015.
Orellana has been a student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge since 2014 and this year she and partner Katie Lindelow were selected for the 2017 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Preseason All-Conference Team.
She has also returned to the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour and along with Maria Jose Orellana finished fourth at the 2016 NORCECA Championships.
The Orellana’s form will be key to qualification for the Vienna 2017, World Championships with four teams qualifying from their rankings. Currently Guatemala is sixth in the rankings meaning that they will need to keep up their impressive form up to the May 28 qualifying deadline to have the chance to make up for the aborted opportunity in 2015.Related article:World Championships qualification heating up as countdown to Vienna 2017 gathers pace