Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann served up memorable summer for Brazilian team

A lot of pressure comes with training and competing internationally among some of the better players in the world. However, Georgia Tech volleyball outside hitter Julia Bergmann didn’t mind the challenge while competing with the Brazilian national team in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League this summer.

“Just knowing that I am part of those kinds of players, that I can compete with the best in the world, and I mean, I’m not far behind them,” said Bergmann, a rising senior for Tech. “I have so much to learn, but I mean, I’m right there.”

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Bergmann finished the summer competition with 139 points, 121 kills and placed second in the VNL on serve receive with 137. She went on to rank in Brazil’s top five for points, kills, blocks, aces and digs, further attesting to her impact on the court. Brazil took the silver medal in this year’s competition through her and her team’s hard work.

With all the success that came her way while playing for Brazil, Bergmann attributed it all to her lessons learned as a Yellow Jacket.

“Those last three years that I have been playing (at Tech), I have become the player that I am today, and I wouldn’t be on the national team if it wasn’t for my team and my coaches,” Bergmann said.

Bergmann entered the summer competition coming off a standout junior season when she helped Tech get to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. Leading the ACC in points (577.5), kills (497) and tied for most service aces (36), she was honored as the 2021 ACC Player of the Year for her performance.

Although more than 4,000 miles away from her college town, she still felt the swarming support of her Jackets coaches and teammates in each phase of the competition.

“They were always texting me, and before (the) semifinal game they sent me a motivational video. I might have cried a little bit. I don’t know,” she said, laughing. “… It was just very nice to see that they were watching.”

Her teammates and coaches traveled to Brazil separately this summer to play against local clubs and experience the Brazilian culture. While she didn’t have the opportunity to play alongside her team on their international trip, their presence stayed with her in each game.

“Everyone was supporting me, and I think that really gave me like more strength to play and just seeing how everyone was kind of with me, together with me all the time; that was just very nice,” Bergmann said.

As she embarks on her senior season at the end of August, she hopes to take what she learned this summer back to Tech.

“I think I got better at volleyball and like practicing with all the good coaches in Brazil and the good players just on a higher level,” Bergmann said. “My volleyball got better, but also I learned from the older players, like our (national team) captain Gabi (Guimarães). I mean, she’s just an example to follow as a person on and off the court. So just helping the team and always being there in the hard moments and sometimes helping the younger players or new players to also have someone to look at when it’s getting rough in the middle of the game or even if it’s not in the game, just in life in general.”