USC men’s volleyball lands top recruits

November 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES–Micah Christenson, a 6-5 setter from Hawaii, and Cristian Rivera, a 6-6 outside hitter from Puerto Rico, have signed letters of intent with USC and will join the Trojan program in the fall of 2011, USC men’s volleyball head coach Bill Ferguson announced today.

“Micah and Cristian both will have an opportunity to impact our program right away,” said Ferguson.  “They both have a tremendous amount of international experience.  They will arrive at USC next August fresh off of playing in two world championships. And both are high-character young men who are great students.”

Christenson plays for Kamehameha-Kapalama High in Honolulu, Hi., where he earned Volleyball Magazine High School All-American first team, All-State first team and All-Conference first team honors as a 2009 sophomore.  He was All-Conference first team as a 2008 freshman.  Kamehameha was the 2009 and 2010 state Division I runner up and he was named to the All-Tournament team both years.

He was a starter on the U.S. Junior National Team that won a gold medal in the 2010 NORCECA Junior Championship in Canada in August, earning his team a berth in the 2011 World Junior Championship.  He was named Best Setter of that tourney.  He also started on the U.S. Youth National Team in 2009 and 2010;   the 2009 squad finished 10th at the FIVB Boys Youth World Championship in Italy (he was the youngest starting setter to ever compete for the U.S. on a national team) and was named USA Volleyball’s 2009 Indoor Team of the Year, while the 2010 squad won a silver medal at the NORCECA Youth Championship in Mexico and will participate in the 2011 World Youth Championship.

His Outrigger club team was the silver medalist at the 2010 USA Volleyball Junior Olympics in the Under 18 Open Gold Division and he made the All-Tournament team.  In 2008, he captained the U.S. High Performance Select A1 Red team.

He also played basketball at Kamehameha, which won the state Division I championship when he was a 2009 sophomore and reached the state title game in 2010 as a junior.  He was the 2010 Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year and Interscholastic League of Honolulu Co-Player of the Year, and made the Honolulu Star Bulletin All-State Fab 15 team (and Co-Player of the Year) when he averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.  He made the 2009 Honolulu Advertiser All-State and Honolulu Star Bulletin All-State Fab 15 teams.

His father, Robert, played basketball at Hawaii-Hilo and his mother, Charlene, played volleyball at Hawa’i-Hilo, where she won 3 national championships and was named a 2-time All-American.

Rivera plays for Colegio San Jose in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, which won the 2009 and 2010 Puerto Rico High School Athletic Alliance championships

He was a starter on the Puerto Rican Junior National Team that won a bronze medal by beating 3-time defending champion Cuba in the 2010 NORCECA Junior Championship in Canada in August, earning his team a berth in the 2011 World Junior Championship.  He also started on Puerto Rico’s Youth National Team that will participate in the 2011 World Youth Championship.

He also made the All-Tournament team at the 2010 and 2009 USA Volleyball Junior Olympics, in the Under 17 and 16 Open Gold Divisions, respectively.  His Halcones de Torrimar club team was the silver medalist at the 2009 Junior Olympics in the 16 Open Gold Division and the bronze medalist at the 2008 tourney in the 15 Open Gold Division.