Former Flame plays professional volleyball in Puerto Rico
Former UIC volleyball outside hitter Paola Santiago is playing professionally in Puerto Rico as a member of Las Pinkin de Corozal, a club in Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santiago was drafted in the fourth round in the league’s December draft and has been playing for the professional club in 2023.
“I want to thank the UIC volleyball program for five incredible years of fun memories, new experiences, many learning lessons and for making history together,” Santiago said. “This program helped me shape the person that I am today, and for that, I will be forever grateful.”
A 2022 MVC First Team All-Conference selection, Santiago finished the 2022 season with 364 kills, 54 assists and 24 service aces. She was named First Team All-Horizon League in 2018, 2020 and 2021 and was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer/Freshman team in 2018. She is UIC’s first volleyball player to play professionally overseas since Kyisha Hunt played for Volley-ball Halluin in France and Völsungur in Iceland (2021-22).
“Paola had been drafted in the Puerto Rican Professional League for the last two years, and I’m proud and excited for her to have this opportunity,” said Justin Ingram, head coach. “Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino in Puerto Rico has always been a competitive destination for U.S. players after exhausting their NCAA eligibility. We, as UIC cCoaches, teammates and fans, are all watching and cheering for Paola and her team Las Pinkin de Corozal.”
Las Pinkin de Corozal plays in Corozal, Puerto Rico, and has won 18 league championships, the most in LVSF history. The club won the league title in 2022.
Santiago graduated from UIC in December 2022 with a degree in kinesiology.