Two Recent Women's Volleyball Players Competing in Puerto Rico

March 19, 2007

Two seniors from UCLA's 2006 National Semifinalist women's volleyball team, Nana Meriwether and Katie Carter, are continuing their volleyball careers by playing professionally in Puerto Rico.

Meriwether, a member of the Indias Mayaguez team that is the top seed for the league playoffs, recently participated in an All-Star competition for the league.

The All-Star festivities featured a match between league players who are Puerto Rico natives, and the league's "reinforcements," or players who are non-natives. Each team is limited to two non-natives on its roster. Meriwether's "Reinforcements" team defeated the natives in four games.

"Life here is much slower than in LA," said Meriwether. "The volleyball itself is different. The tempo is much slower so it has gotten some getting used to."

Indias Mayaguez won the league's regular season title for the first time in its history.

Carter is playing for the fourth-seeded Las Criollas de Caguas team and is living in Caguas, Puerto Rico, a town approximately 30 minutes south of San Juan.

"It is very different playing here," said Carter. "It is definitely a business. The fans love you if you do well and hate you if you mess up. There is a lot of pressure for me to perform well because each team is limited to two foreigners on its roster. I miss being a Bruin, but it has been a great experience playing here."

Playoffs for the league begin on March 22, with the best eight teams from the regular season standings qualifying for postseason play. The eight teams are divided into two groups of four and play a double round-robin with the top two teams in each pool advancing to a best-of-seven series, and a finals series which is also best-of-seven.

Carter and Meriwether will face each other at least twice in postseason play, as Indias Mayaguez and Las Criollas de Caguas are in the same postseason pool of teams.

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