On one continent, Cindy Marina is a 5-foot-11 setter on the USC women’s volleyball team. The pride of Great Oak High in Temecula, Calif., was a PrepVolleyball.com high school All-American and a nominee for California Gatorade player of the year.
Volley to the other side of the globe and Marina wears the crown as the new Miss Universe Albania.
The soon-to-be 21-year-old will represent the country at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant in South Korea in late December — not too long after the upcoming USC volleyball season ends. She won the title Saturday at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, Albania.
Known in Albania as a professional model, Marina also has been a model athlete as a setter on the country’s national volleyball team since 2015. The team finished second in the European Volleyball League last summer.
Marina, who was born in Chicago, connects to Albania through her mother, Kristina, who played pro volleyball there, and her father, Ardian, who played college soccer there. Her parents are from the municipality of Shkoder.
Marina, who will be a senior next season, has compiled 711 assists, 214 digs and 45 service aces in 48 matches over two years with USC. She is a business major who transferred after an all-ACC academic freshman season at Duke.