After Chaussee set the tone with 16 kills in the opening match of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball season on Friday night, Linnehan took her shot at the league’s record book while piloting Team Edmond to a 77-73 victory over Team De La Cruz to close the season-opening twinbill at Legacy Park.
Linnehan blasted a match-high 19 kills, including 10 in the opening set, while adding 12 digs for the first double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career. The former Kentucky star secured the first Game MVP award of her career after claiming MVP 1 distinction and 408 leaderboard points.
Team captain Leah Edmond earned MVP 3 recognition after contributing 13 kills and three solo blocks in the victory, giving her 238 leaderboard points.
Reigning Athletes Unlimited Volleyball champion Bethania De La Cruz paced her squad in the loss with 15 kills, nine digs and three service aces. De La Cruz received the MVP 2 commendation in a losing effort to end the opening night with 271 leaderboard points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Linnehan secured 10 of her 19 kills to guide Team Edmond to a 33-31 verdict in a wild first set that featured 21 ties. Team De La Cruz gained a 56-52 match advantage after claiming a 25-19 win in the second set as Johnson and De La Cruz combined for 10 kills. Linnehan put the finishing touches on the victory with five kills in the third set as Team Edmond secured a 25-17 outcome.
Linnehan takes the early advantage on the leaderboard after notching 408 points in the victory, while Chaussee stands 15 points back in second place.
Team De La Cruz and Team Edmond combined to record eight service aces in the season opener, upping the season total to 13 aces through two matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every service ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.
Team De La Cruz and Team Edmond played to a 33-31 score in the first set, marking the fifth time in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history a set has featured 60 or more points … The 64 combined points are tied for the third-highest set total in the league’s three-year history.
Linnehan became the first player to notch 10 or more kills in a single set since April 16, 2022, when outside hitter Dani Drews tallied 11 kills in the third set against Team De La Cruz … It is the 15th time in league history where a player has notched 10 or more kills in a single set.
Libero Morgan Hentz set a new Athletes Unlimited Volleyball record by compiling 25 digs in the win for Team Edmond, eclipsing the previous standard of 24 digs held by Kristen Tupac against Team Larson on March 29, 2021.
Hentz authored 15 or more digs in a match for the 11th time in her 16 career Athletes Unlimited matches … It also marks the third time she has tallied 20 or more digs in a contest.
De La Cruz, who recorded the 26th double-digit kill match of her Athletes Unlimited career, has tallied 10 or more kills in 13 consecutive outings dating back to last season.
Johnson, who played in her first Athletes Unlimited match since the inaugural 2021 campaign, fashioned her fourth career effort with 10 or more kills.
Childress finished with an Athletes Unlimited career-high 42 assists in the loss, marking the ninth time she has surpassed 30 or more helpers in a match over the last two seasons … She also registered her fourth Athletes Unlimited double-double after chipping in 11 digs.
Edmond posted her 12th career match with 10 or more kills … The former Kentucky standout had seven double-digit kill performances last season.
- #1 – Alli Linnehan (Team Edmond, +60)
- #2 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team De La Cruz, +40)
- #3 – Leah Edmond (Team Edmond, +20)
Recap: Team Nootsara sweeps win points to open season
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Watch: Volleyball Season 3 Week 1 Preview
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
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