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Sayra Lopez

12-1 Assistant Coach

From a very young age Sayra played volleyball in Catholic School Leagues under the wing of Raúl “Americano” Hernández. As her mentor, he taught her and her teammates not only the fundamentals of volleyball, but also her love and passion for this sport. She played her minor categories in her town Guayanilla with Raúl “Americano” Hernández and Kenneth Martínez.

Later, she began playing in the Puerto Rican League with the Avancinas of Villalba, under the command of Stephen Brown and Alberto Pillot. Sayra also played in Guayanilla under the wing of Luis Felipe "Wipi" Trujillo. In the final years of her play in the Puerto Rican League, she represented the Sabana Grande team under the direction of Odlan Iglesias.

During her time of study at the Santa María Academy in Ponce, her coach, Mr. Juan Carlos Gesualdo, allowed her to participate in higher level tournaments, while she was still at the intermediate level. This was the key to gaining more experience and developing her skills. During her junior and senior year, Sayra had the experience of participating in the El Nuevo Día tournament.

In 2000, when Sayra was 16 years old, she had her greatest sports experience when she was signed by the Professional League with the Leonas of Ponce, under the direction of Héctor Rentas. During this time, she acquired a lot of knowledge from high-level and experienced players.

In 2002, she graduated from the Santa María Academy high school, acquiring a sports scholarship from the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce (UPRP). She played under Felipe "Pipe" Trujillo, who helped her develop versatility on the court, playing middle blocker, opposite, and outside hitter positions. During her four years on the court at UPR-Ponce, she received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. She also represented her university playing beach volleyball together with her sister Saryel.

During college, Sayra continued to play volleyball at the professional level led by Jorge Pérez Vento. She participated with the Leonas de Ponce in National Superior Volleyball League for four seasons. In 2006, she played with the Indias of Mayagüez, led by Henry Collazo.

In international competitions, she represented Puerto Rico with the National Youth Team in that tournament she played against teams from different countries held in Cuba.

In 2007, Sayra obtained her bachelor of Elementary Education at the UPR-Ponce.

In addition to playing, she likes to teach. Sayra took advantage of the opportunity to lead girls' teams in minor categories in the Catholic Schools tournaments, representing the Santa María Academy. 

Since 2014, she has lived in Texas with her husband José "Sultán" Rivera, also a volleyball player, and her two daughters - Alondra and Alianna. Although she no longer plays professionally, in her spare time, she plays recreationally. Now Sayra's mission is to teach her daughters and others young athletes the love and passion that her and her husband have for the sport of volleyball.

Sayra Lopez
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