Zykera Rice’s graduation leaves a void in the middle of the paint. Enter Anamaria Virjoghe. After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, the 6’5 center will begin her redshirt sophomore campaign as a key rotation player.
Virjoghe, a Romanian native, played for Northwest Christian College in Oregon at the NAIA level two years ago. She averaged 15.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks and scored seven points against Gonzaga in an exhibition game. She shot 49.9 percent from the field along with 72 percent from the foul line while leading Northwest Christian to their first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament. She was the only freshman on the All-Conference team.
She looks to become another success story in the long line of Gonzaga International players. Most know the history of the men’s side, but the women have had their share of success as well. Since the 2014-15 season, Gonzaga has had multiple players from Germany, Australia, and Canada play big roles in their success. With Virjoghe, you can add Romania to that list. In 2017, she was named the MVP of the U18 National Championships while playing for her home country.
After a year to get acclimated to Gonzaga, Virjoghe slots in as a rotation player alongside the Wirth sisters inside. All three of them can score inside and step out to hit mid-range jumpers. Virjoghe is a more natural low post player and should play well together with either Wirth. It will also be nice to have her 6’5 frame to match up with 6’8 Sara Hamson from BYU, who shut down the interior in their three games last season.