PROVO — The players on the BYU men's volleyball team all have clearly defined roles.
Nobody will argue that Taylor Sander is a superstar, and no longer is immensly talented freshman Ben Patch a diamond in the rough — he's turned into a polished 5-carat stud.
Ryan Boyce has nailed down the spot as the team's heart and quarterback, setting up his teammates for success and providing leadership. With Russ Lavaja and Josue Rivera providing added power and being crowd pleasers, the behind-the-scenes efforts of Devin Young and Jaylen Reyes can easily go unnoticed.
Rest assured, however, that their efforts aren't lost on BYU coach Chris McGown.
"He made plays where we got stuffed and he'd pop balls up and keep things alive," McGown said of Reyes. "When we dig a ball with our setter he's quite often the guy that has to set and I thought he executed that well."
In Saturday night's straight-set win over Long Beach State, Reyes was the grease in the wheels that kept things moving.
"I thought he passed really well tonight," said McGown. "They are a really good serving team, so mainly what we asked of him tonight was to pass great and to be kind of this energizer when he goes into the match and to kind of smooth people out and keep people steady. I thought he had a nice tournament. He passed well and handled some big serves."
While BYU did win in straight sets Saturday, it was anything but a walk in the park. BYU's players, though, came through and did exactly what they needed to.
"We stayed composed tonight and never got discouraged," Young said. "We came together and we won this game as a team. We picked each other up, and when they went on little runs we were able to just come right back at them."
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Young continued his hot streak in the MPSF tournament, finishing with seven kills while hitting .700 against LBSU.
"I really give credit to our passing and to Boyce," Young said. "Boyce has really been setting me great lately. We've finally got things clicking and he's worked really hard to be where he's at. So I really can't take much of the credit there."
Jonathan Boldt is a sports writing intern for the Deseret News covering the Utah Valley. He can be reached at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jboldt24 - www.boldted.com