6 Newcomers to Know in AU Volleyball

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Savanna Collins
Sep 26, 2023

There is just over one week until the start of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball season. This year’s 44-player roster features the top returners from previous seasons, rookies continuing their stardom, and international talent.

With 25 newcomers on the roster, here are six players you need to know.

Yossiana Pressley – Outside Hitter

Yossiana Pressley is a recent Baylor star who spent the last year competing overseas since her 2021 graduate season. She finished the season with 453 kills to lead the Bears and the conference. She is Baylor’s all-time kills leader with 2,395. Her 523 career sets are second all-time in the record book.

In 2019 she raked in the awards: she was AVCA National Player of the Year as well as the espnW National Player of the Year. Pressley was a unanimous selection for Big 12 Player of the Year, just two years after being named the conference Freshman of the Year in 2017.

She’s competed overseas with ASPTT Mulhouse Volleyball in France. Expect her to be a weapon in the front and back row.

Claire Chaussee – Outside Hitter

Don’t let her height fool you – Claire Chaussee is a force to be reckoned with on the outside. The 2022 ACC Player of the Year had 25 matches with double-digit kills, including three matches with 24 or more kills. She led the team in kills with 452, hitting .304 on the year with 1,074 attempts.

Chaussee most recently played for Macerata in Italy.

Sure, other outside hitters may have a couple of inches on her, but Chaussee has a skill and craftiness that makes her one of the best. She played all six rotations at Louisville. Expect to see her pick up points similar to 2022 medalist Cassidy Lichtman with great shot selections and lots of digs.


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Sydney Hilley – Setter

Sydney Hilley is a Wisconsin star and is the all-time record holder at UW with 6,138 assists. She dominated in conference and was the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Big Ten Setter of the Year, as well as three-time AVCA First-Team All-American All-American.

She’s played professionally in Turkey and Puerto Rico and made her U.S. Women’s National team debut at the 2023 Pan American Cup. Hilley has continued to elevate her game since college playing overseas and training with the best at USA Volleyball. She competed on the AU Volleyball Exhibition Tour but this will be her first Championship season – expect her to make a splash.


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Tori Dixon – Middle Blocker

Tori Dixon is a longtime pro with over 10 years of experience playing for some of the best clubs around the world. In her 10 years of pro volleyball, she’s played in Azerbaijan, Japan, Italy, and China.

She became a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2014 playing in Pan American Cups, NORCECA tournaments, and FIVB World Championships. She was an alternate for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Dixon signed with AU Volleyball for the 2021 season but sustained an injury and was unable to compete. Expect her to not only be an effective blocker but also explosive on offense in her AU debut


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Nia Reed – Opposite Hitter

Nia Reed has been a competitive force in volleyball from a young age – she was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She ranked 12th nationally out of high school and played for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After finishing her NCAA career in 2018, Reed has played professionally in Turkey, France, and Brazil.

She continued to hone her skills post-college and made her national team debut in May 2022. Reed was named to the 25-player roster for the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League tournament. She also played in the Pan Am Cup last year with the U.S. Women’s National Team. 


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Saskia Hippe – Opposite Hitter

Unless you follow international volleyball, you might not be familiar with Saskia Hippe but put her on your radar now.

She is a long-time member of the German Women’s National Team, which she has played with since 2007. She’s represented her country in multiple Women’s European Volleyball Championships. Hippe has played professionally in various countries including Romania, Greece, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

At the club level, she plays in the Hellenic Volleyball League for Greek powerhouse Olympiacos Piraeus. She was a staple with Olympiacos for five seasons, solidifying her reputation as a top-tier player in the international volleyball scene.


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The season begins on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT featuring 44 of the world’s best women’s professional volleyball players competing for a share of $1 million over five weeks at Legacy Park in Mesa, Ariz.

Tickets are on sale now.



Savanna Collins is the Digital Media Reporter at Athletes Unlimited. You can follow her on Twitter @savannaecollins.

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