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Paola Cardullo - 162cm of pure talent

Paola Cardullo "la Piccola" may just be 162cm tall, but in her role as Italian team libero she is the exception to the rule that superb volleyball players must be tall. 

Born in Omegna in 1982, the 21-year-old already has a rich career behind her. She stated to play mini-volley when just 11 years old. 

She played her first season with Omegna in the 1997/98 season in the B1 league and from then on, the only way was up. She fast became a favorite with the fans, who christened her "Pally" and in the season 1999-2000 she was part of the team that took the silver medal at the European Junior Championship. She was drafted into the national squad in December 2000 and in June of the following year, played with Italy at the Volley Masters in Montreux, Switzerland. In this same year, Paola was part of the Italian squad that won the European championship silver medal in Bulgaria. 

By the time the Italian team was ready to compete in the 2002 World Championship in Germany, the mini-power pack from the Italian "Blues" had become the benchmark of the team's defense. She played a vital part in the team's victory to take the World title from the USA. 

Cadullo, who confesses to a weakness for pizzas, was also honored by the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) as the Best Women Volleyball Player on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary, held in Milan earlier in 2003.

CEV Photo: Cadullo with the 
Best Women Volleyball Player prize