By Brady Tucker
Uno, dos, tres, ace!
BYU fans cheer as one of their stars tosses up a near unreturnable serve. He’s Puerto Rican sensation Josue Rivera, and coaches say he is key to the BYU men’s volleyball team’s success.
“You get a ton of energy. He’s passionate, he’s fiery and we love that,” said coach Chris McGown.
To prepare for the NCAA’s high level of competition, Josue was the captain of Puerto Rico’s youth national volleyball team, which qualified for the 2011 Youth World Championships in Brazil.
Despite being a redshirt freshman, Rivera has played in all but two sets this season. He leads the team in digs and is second in aces with five.
BYU men’s volleyball has seen several talented Puerto Ricans come through the program, which helped influence Rivera’s decision to come here.
“I love the environment here. I love the fans, and I love the school, so I was like, ‘Yeah I’m going to BYU!’” said Rivera.
Aside from his high jumps and hard hits, Rivera is a team player who encourages his teammates to play well.
“I like to play the game fun and I also like trying to get my teammates up and like fired up so they can play awesome too.”