The FIU volleyball team (13-4) is off to the best start in school history and one reason has been the play of two-time All-American Yarimar Rosa, who with 2 Sun Belt Player of the Week Awards this season now holds the Sun Belt's all-time record for Player of the Week awards with 8. The Golden Panthers try to improve their 13-4 record this weekend with home SBC matches against Denver (Fri. 7 p.m.) and North Texas (Sun., 1 p.m.).
During a recent FIU volleyball practice that YR sat out of because of shin splints, the GPP learned in a Spanish interview with the Puerto Rico native about the Treasure of the Sea, that there is a form of trash-talking in volleyball and what Rosa's favorite rosa is. . . .
GPP: You are the 1st two-time All-American at FIU what does that mean to you?
YR: I was surprised to have won it two years in a row. I was surprised to have won it the second time, because it is a difficult honor to achieve. When you’re a freshman you don’t really expect it. But to win it as a sophomore was tougher, because I had to maintain my level of play. I’m proud of my teammates, because they helped me achieved this. It’s something I’m very proud of and I’m proud to have accomplished this at FIU and to represent Puerto Rico here in the United States.
YR: I think people don’t realize how many times a player intends to hit the ball. For example, the difference in the amount of points I get and another player gets. Since I’m in a position to receive most of the kill opportunities, I have more of an opportunity to get more kills than another player. Some times people say “Yari, you got a lot of kills and another player did not”. But what people fail to realize is that maybe I got 50 chances and the other girl got 20 chances so I had more chances to get more points.
GPP: Where does your name Yarimar come from?
GPP: So is your mother’s name? Boat Del Mar?
YR: (Laughs) No, no. It’s Ivonne.
GPP: In a lot of the men’s sports there's trash-talking going on. Is there trash-talking in volleyball?
YR: It’s not so much as talking trash, because the officials will stop that. But there are definitely trash looks and trash attitudes. And you easily recognize it and that gets you fired up and raises the level of intensity in each game. Because when you get one of those looks, you say “No, don’t bring that here”. I like it when the opponents do that, because I see it as a challenge.
YR: We were in Fairmont a few weeks ago. All the fans were screaming at us and one fan was saying “Yarimar, how do you say Gatorade in Puerto Rico?” Or when I made an error on the court the fans will say “Yarimar, what happened? We know you’re perfect?” And since it’s a small court you can hear everything. But you have to laugh at it and keep playing.
GPP: If they make a movie about your life, who would play the lead role of Yarimar Rosa?
GPP: Puerto Rico has had many great athletes, but who is the best athlete ever to come out of the island?
YR: I would say Pecky Soto, who is a male volleyball player. He holds the national record in kills per game in Puerto Rico. He’s a great player and the most important thing is he’s very humble. That’s admirable, because a lot of people when they attain success they forget where they came from and that’s important.
GPP: You’ve been in Miami now for 3 years. What was the first thing you noticed about Miami that let you know you’re no longer in Puerto Rico?
YR: Puerto Rico is a lot smaller and everyone knows everyone else. Wherever you go you get to meet new people and that’s something you miss about Puerto Rico. Here Miami is so big that you can go somewhere and not meet anyone. You don’t have the familiarity in Miami that you have in Puerto Rico. That familiarity that you have in Puerto Rico is unique.
GPP: You’re a business major. If money was not an issue and what business would you start?
YR: I would start a foundation that would go around the world and help people that have suffered such as the people who were hit by the tsunami. It would be a beautiful opportunity to help out those people if I had the resources.
GPP: Your last name translates to rose in English. What’s your favorite rose?
YR: I would say white, because it’s elegant and it’s different.
Thought we could use a little break from the "my school's cafeteria is bigger than your school's cafeteria".
The FIU volleyball team has been probably the most successful program at FIU in the last 4 years and YR is probably headed for a 3rd straight All-American honor.
A little soccer news today: MLS to FIU
Panther Pass is up and running and will broadcast Saturday's game vs. Middle Tennessee for you out-of-towners. We will also have a LIVE GPP Blog on Saturday night.
Will be back on here with football Thursday, busy day today. Check out the MH on Thursday to find out why.
A different kind of futbol poll question: