Team De La Cruz, which won the match by set scores of 26-24, 25-21 and 27-29, remained undefeated at 2-0, while Team Lowe saw its record move to 1-1 in the opening week.
Outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz paced her team to the victory after finishing with a match-high 13 kills and 11 digs, while opposite hitter Sheilla Castro added 10 kills with 10 digs for the first double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career. Setter Val Nichol orchestrated the offense for Team De La Cruz, posting 32 assists with 11 digs.
Team Lowe, which earned a three-point win in the season opener on Wednesday, was led by 13 kills apiece from opposite hitter Karsta Lowe and outside hitter Lindsay Stalzer. Setter Carli Lloyd dished out a match-high 35 assists to go with 12 digs. Libero Amanda Benson added 17 digs in the loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Team De La Cruz used five kills and three digs from outside hitter Madison Villines to secure a 26-24 victory in the opening set. Team De La Cruz extended its match lead by registering a 25-21 decision in the middle set on the strength of five kills and four digs from De La Cruz. Team Lowe avoided the sweep with a 29-27 verdict in the final set.
Team De La Cruz and Team Lowe combined to post six service aces, upping the league season total to 30 through four matches … Aspiration will plant 10 trees for every service ace this season as part of its “Aspiration Aces” initiative.
Team De La Cruz, which registered 13 blocks in the win on Friday, finished just one rejection shy of equaling the Athletes Unlimited single-match record … Team De La Cruz had 14 blocks against Team Larson on Mar. 29, 2021.
Eight different players tallied 10 or more digs in the match, while four players recorded a double-digit kill showing.
Lowe extended her streak of consecutive matches with 10 or more kills to 17 after her 13-kill performance.
Setter Val Nichol authored the second double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career … It is her first double-double since registering 36 assists with 12 digs against Team Hunter on Mar. 21, 2021.
De La Cruz’s double-double is the third of her Athletes Unlimited career.
Stalzer set a personal AU single-match career high with her 13 kills on Friday night.
Lloyd is the first player in the league this season with multiple double-double performances … She fashioned 40 assists with 13 digs in Wednesday’s opener against Team Cruz.
- #1 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team De La Cruz, +60)
- #2 – Sheilla Castro (Team De La Cruz, +40)
- #3 – Carli Lloyd (Team Lowe, #20)
Team Lowe’s third set comeback earned them 40 win points, while Team De La Cruz took the first two sets and the overall match for 140 win points.
Captain Bethania De La Cruz had 13 digs, 11 digs and three blocks for 326 points to move into the No. 1 spot heading into the final day of the weekend. Sheilla Castro had 10 kills, 10 digs and 3 aces for Team De La Cruz, picking up 291 points. Setter Carli Lloyd earned 163 points with 35 assists and 12 digs for Team Lowe.
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