Morgan Hentz

Volleyball signs 8 returners for 2023 Championship Season

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Alexandra Licata
Mar 09, 2023

Athletes Unlimited Volleyball has announced eight returning athletes have signed for the 2023 Championship Season. The announcement kicks off an exciting week of more news to come for the upcoming Exhibition Tour and Championship season.

Included in the list of athletes signed for Volleyball Season 3 are top-10 finishers Morgan Hentz and Erin Fairs.

Libero Hentz ranked no. 7 on the leaderboard following her rookie campaign in 2022. The Stanford standout was named the GEICO Defensive Player of the Year by players, facilitators and members of the Unlimited Club. She led the league with 229 digs, which also set a new single-season digs record. 

Fairs posted 159 digs, 118 kills, and seven aces to finish tenth on the leaderboard in her second season with AU. An outside hitter and Louisville alum, Fairs has played professionally in Sweden, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Romania, Italy and Greece.

Hentz and Fairs will be joined by Amanda Benson, Alisha Childress, Ali Bastianelli, Molly McCage, Deja McClendon, and Taylor Bruns Tegenrot.

Benson finished the season No. 18 on the leaderboard and ranked second in digs (214). The former Oregon Duck is second in program history with 2,146 career digs and is one of six players in school history with 30 or more digs in a match.

Childress (17th) ranked third in assists (374) in her first campaign with AU and averaged 9.59 assists per set. The Penn State alum led the team to three consecutive NCAA titles and posted 5,800 career assists. 

Bastianelli (25th) led the league in blocks with 33 in the 2022 season and ranked fourth in aces (12). She was a three-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection and the Illinois career leader with 685 block assists and 750 total blocks.

McCage ranked second in blocks (27) and finished 28th on the 2022 leaderboard. She was a four-year letter winner at Texas, two-time AVCA All-American selection and ranks among the Longhorns’ career leaders with 498 total blocks and 459 block assists

McClendon (38th), who is also a Penn State alum, is one of eight players in school history with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. 

Bruns Tegenrot had 47 assists and finished 36th on the leaderboard. She ranks seventh in South Carolina history with 2,858 career assists.

All eight athletes will participate in the Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Exhibition Tour, which begins on March 25 at Ohio State University and runs through April 21. 

Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Season 3 begins in October and will air exclusively live on ESPN’s television networks and ESPN+

Stay tuned for more information on the Exhibition Tour and Championship season beginning Sunday.

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