Puerto Rico roster laden with current NCAA players for NORCECA event

Photo courtesy of North Greenville athletics

Four current college men’s volleyball players will represent Puerto Rico at an international tournament this weekend.

North Greenville opposite Gregory Torres, George Mason outside attacker Omar Hoyos, Lewis middle attacker Antonio Rodriguez and Purdue Fort Wayne outside attacker Axel Melendez Watts were all selected to Puerto Rico’s 12-player roster for the NORCECA Qualification Tournament.

The four-team tournament will feature round-robin play with the team that finishes in first place qualifying for the 2023 FIVB Challenger Cup. The champion of the annual Challenger Cup is promoted to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.


Torres joins Puerto Rico after helping lead North Greenville to the ConfCarolinas championship and a victory against Princeton in the NCAA Tournament opening round. The freshman was in the NCAA’s top 30 with a 3.49 kills per game average, including a combined 68 kills in four postseason matches and hit more than .300 in three of those matches.

Hoyos ended last season in the top 10 of the EIVA averaging both 3.00 kills per game and 0.32 aces per game. The Second-Team All-EIVA also had double-digit digs in eight matches and had a team-high 1.89 digs per game average.

Rodriguez played in nine matches for Lewis last season. Among the middle attacker’s top performances was five kills on a perfect 1.000 attack percentage in a victory against Benedictine.

Melendez Watts as a freshman appeared in four matches with Purdue Fort Wayne in 2022 and had a season-high eight kills in a non-conference sweep against Sacred Heart.

Along with these current college players, the Puerto Rico roster includes former Purdue Fort Wayne outside attacker Pelegrin Vargas and Barton setter Oscar Fiorentino.

Puerto Rico will open the NORCECA tournament against Mexico on Friday before playing the Dominican Republic on Saturday and the host nation Cuba on Sunday.