Bethania De La Cruz

De La Cruz breaks single-match kill record in loss to Team Stivrins

Bethania De La Cruz © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Mar 25, 2022

DALLAS — Outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz set an Athletes Unlimited Volleyball single-match record with 27 kills, but Team Stivrins ruined the celebration by claiming a 71-70 victory to open Friday night’s doubleheader inside Fair Park Coliseum.

Both teams stand 1-1 in Week Two as Team Stivrins, which won by set scores of 26-24, 25-21 and 20-25, earned its first victory while Team De La Cruz lost for the first time in the week.

De La Cruz, who fashioned 22 kills in Wednesday’s win over Team Valentin-Anderson, bettered the league’s single-match record with the final kill of the night to secure her team’s lone set victory. Outside hitter Aury Cruz held the mark of 26 kills against Team Larson on Mar. 28, 2021.

Outside hitter Cassidy Lichtman fashioned her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 15 digs to lead Team Stivrins in the victory, while opposite hitter Falyn Fonoimoana chipped in a team-high 15 kills with seven digs. Outside hitter Leah Edmond added 13 kills on 44 attempts.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Edmond and Fonoimoana each posted five kills in the opening set as Team Stivrins held off an 11-kill effort from De La Cruz to post a 26-24 victory. Fonoimoana played a key role in the second set as she teamed up with Lichtman to guide Team Stivrins to a 25-21 verdict. Team De La Cruz salvaged the final set with a 25-20 decision as De La Cruz posted nine kills in the set.

MATCH NOTES

  • Seven of the first nine matches this season have been decided by five points or less after the one-point margin on Friday night.

  • De La Cruz authored her third double-digit kill of the season … It is also the 16th time in 20 career Athletes Unlimited matches she has finished with 10 or more kills.

  • De La Cruz also remained the only athlete to earn MVP honors in all of her matches this season after securing MVP 2 distinction on Friday night … She also matched the league record for career MVP records with her 12th honor, equaling the total by outside hitter Jordan Larson during the 2021 campaign.

  • Outside hitter Erin Fairs has registered 10 or more digs in each of her last three matches after closing play with a career-high 19 digs … The 19 digs match the league’s season high set by libero Amanda Benson against Team Cruz in the season opener.

  • Opposite hitter Sheilla Castro just missed recording a double-double after finishing with nine kills and 10 digs … Castro has reached double figures in digs in three of her last four outings.

  • Libero Nomaris Vélez Agosto registered her fifth consecutive double-digit dig effort after closing the match with 13 digs … She owns 18 double-digit dig performances in 20 career Athletes Unlimited matches.

  • Setter Nootsara Tomkom pitched her third straight double-double after a 43-assist, 13-dig performance in the loss … Tomkom also has 40 or more assists in each of her last two matches.

  • Team Stivrins setter Alisha Childress posted a season-high 39 assists and nearly added a double-double with nine digs.

  • Lichtman, who finished with the third double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career, matched her career with the 11 kills on Friday night … She also posted 15 or more digs for the second time in her AU career.

  • Lichtman also earned a season-high 316 leaderboard points after being named MVP 3 on Friday night … It is the fourth match MVP honor of her AU career.

  • Edmond has three straight matches with 10 or more kills after posting 13 kills on Friday night … Her 44 attack attempts are the most in her Athletes Unlimited career.

  • Fonoimoana set a season high with 15 kills … In addition, she closed the match with a season-high 335 leaderboard points after earning MVP 1 honors.

MATCH MVPS

  • #1 – Falyn Fonoimoana (Team Stivrins, +60)
  • #2 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team De La Cruz, +40)
  • #3 – Cassidy Lichtman (Team Stivrins, +20)

POINT-EARNERS

Team De La Cruz’s 25-20 effort in the third set earned 40 win points for each member, while Team Stivrins took the remaining 140 win points.

Fonoimoana posted 15 kills, seven digs and one ace for Team Stivrins for 335 points. De La Cruz added an ace and seven digs to her record-setting kills effort to tally 291 points. A double-double performance from Licthman, featuring 15 digs and 11 kills, earned her 316 points.

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