Star player’s eligibility expires


    By Angela Wallace

    The BYU men”s volleyball team found their three-year starter and All-American setter Carlos Moreno in an unusual place during the two Pepperdine matches last weekend-on the sidelines.

    Last Friday, BYU athletic department officials determined that Moreno”s eligibility had expired as an international transfer student because he won”t be able to complete his graduation requirements in the time set by the NCAA.

    “It will be a considerable loss for our team, not to have Carlos as a player,” BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. “Carlos is one of the greatest collegiate volleyball players I have been associated with. He not only gave to our team his athletic skills, but his leadership as well. He has contributed to our team success.”

    Along with helping the team to a National Championship last season, Moreno won many honors for his leadership and athleticism, including the 2004 AVCA National Player of the Year and 2004 NCAA Tournament MVP. He also was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year and the MPSF Tournament MVP.

    After recording 4,628 assists and 73 aces in the last three seasons, Moreno ended his career as BYU”s second all-time assists leader and fourth in all-time service aces. He became BYU”s starting setter just two weeks into his freshman season.

    “He”s taking it hard,” Peterson said. “Elite athletes take any disappointment hard because they worked so hard for it. He”s going to take it hard, but he”s going to take it well, too, and help our team in whatever way he can. He”ll still be a great part of our team no matter what.”

    As a sophomore, Moreno, a native from Sao Paulo, Brazil, also helped the Cougars to the NCAA National Championship match and earned second-team All-American honors at the end of the 2003 season.

    Not only has he led on the court, but off the court as well.

    “He is a great young man and has been a great ambassador for our University, as well as our volleyball team,” Peterson said. “He will be an even greater ambassador in whatever capacity in the future.”

    The reins of BYU”s setter position have been placed in the hands of junior Rob Nielson, who saw some time last year as a serving specialist as well as the back-up setter. Nielson said he found out about his new situation only a few days before the team left for a tournament in Canada over a week ago.

    “I guess I”m responsible to take over the lead right now,” Nielson said. “I”m just going to work as hard as I can and prepare myself to play. Right now, [Carlos] helps out, and he helps me out a lot. [Carlos] did a great job for us.”

    With only a few matches under his belt as BYU”s new starting setter, Nielson is making strides.

    “[Rob] has stepped up his game, even from the Canada trip, considerably,” Peterson said after Friday”s win over Pepperdine. “He played great defense. He served great. For the most part, his sets were a very good selection.”

    Although they had success last weekend at home, the Cougars said they have a ways to go coming off of last year”s National Championship.

    “We have a lot of work to do,” Nielson said. “It”s nice to get a win and have all these people out, but we have a lot of work to do.”

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