Bethania De La Cruz

2022 Champion Bethania De La Cruz Leads All-Star Roster for 2023 Volleyball Season

Tori Dixon, Welissá Gonzaga (aka Sassá), Morgan Hentz, and Nootsara Tomkom Among Other Notable Names to Compete

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Athletes Unlimited
Jul 17, 2023
  • Tori Dixon, Welissá Gonzaga (aka Sassá), Morgan Hentz and Nootsara Tomkom Among Other Notable Names to Compete
  • More than $1 Million on the Line in Phoenix Area, October 6 – November 6; Tickets on sale July 20

Defending champion Bethania De La Cruz, Tori Dixon, Wélissa Gonzaga (aka Sassá), reigning Defensive Player of the Year Morgan Hentz, and Nootsara Tomkom are among more than three dozen of the world’s best volleyball players who have signed on to compete in the third championship season of Athletes Unlimited Volleyball.

Athletes Unlimited Volleyball’s third season, which will feature 44 world-class athletes competing for a share of more than $1 million over five weeks, will take place in the Phoenix area this fall, as Legacy Park in Mesa will host the 30-match championship season from October 6 to November 6. 

The Athletes Unlimited Pro Volleyball Unlimited Club presale will begin Thursday, July 20 at 10 a.m. PT for Unlimited Club Members. The general on-sale begins Friday, July 21 at 11 a.m. PT. Tickets will be available at The schedule can be found here.

All matches will air live exclusively on ESPN Platforms, marking an expansion of Athletes Unlimited’s relationship with ESPN, which also exclusively carries its softball and lacrosse competitions, which take place this summer. 

De La Cruz, who placed second in the inaugural 2021 campaign before securing the title last year, owns the top spot on Athletes Unlimited Volleyball career lists for overall leaderboard points (8,342), win points (3,240), stat points (4,102) and MVP points (1,000). 

Sassá, an Olympic Gold medalist for Brazil in 2008, will compete in Athletes Unlimited for the first time, as will Dixon, a World Champion and long-time U.S. National Team player who had signed with Athletes Unlimited Volleyball for the 2021 season but couldn’t participate due to injury. 

This season will also mark the U.S. professional debut for recent college graduates Gabby Blossom (San Diego), Claire Chaussee (Louisville), Danielle Hart (Wisconsin), Sydney Hilley (Wisconsin), Katie Lukes (San Diego), Brooke Nuneviller (Oregon) and Yossiana Pressley (Baylor). 

The initial roster also features five Olympians (De La Cruz, Sassá, Natalia Valentin-Anderson, Alisha Childress and Aury Cruz), and four athletes currently training with the U.S. National Team (Hart, Hentz, Nuneviller and Kendall White). 

Like its other leagues, Athletes Unlimited Volleyball’s championship season will feature a range of scoring innovations to bring athletes and fans a unique and intense version of the sport. Individual athletes earn points based on both team wins and individual performance and become the champions in team sports. Points are earned on every play and the leaderboard will change constantly. 

In addition, teams change each week, with the top four athletes in the standings serving as captains and drafting their teams. At the end of the five-week season, the player with the most points is crowned as individual champion. 

“With dozens of the top players in the world alongside an incredible group of college grads making their pro debuts, this is shaping up to be the strongest roster in the history of Athletes Unlimited Volleyball,” said Cassidy Lichtman, Director of Sport for Athletes Unlimited Volleyball. “With fan interest and participation in the sport at an all-time high in the U.S., we are thrilled to bring the excitement of Athletes Unlimited Volleyball to the great fans in the Phoenix area this fall.” 

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