Aury Cruz

Recap: Cruz, De La Cruz combine for 31 kills in defeat of Team Lichtman

Aury Cruz © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Kimberly Dovi
Eric Rhew
Apr 15, 2022

DALLAS — Outside hitters Bethania De La Cruz and Aury Cruz combined for 31 kills and 22 digs as Team De La Cruz opened its Week Five schedule with a 71-66 victory over Team Lichtman in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball action at Fair Park Coliseum on Friday evening.

Team De La Cruz won the match by set scores of 25-20, 21-25 and 25-21.

De La Cruz led all players with 19 kills and hit .326 while notching eight digs in the victory. Cruz, meanwhile, contributed a double-double of 12 kills and 14 digs in addition to a pair of service aces. Setter Nootsara Tomkom fashioned a double-double of 43 assists and 12 digs, while middle blocker Ronika Stone notched nine kills with three digs.

Outside hitter Leah Edmond paced Team Lichtman in the loss with 16 kills and a .310 hitting percentage, while opposite hitter Falyn Fonoimoana chipped in eight kills. Team captain Cassidy Lichtman added six kills with nine digs and four assists.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Team De La Cruz sprinted to the early 25-20 lead by claiming the first set as Cruz registered six of the team’s 17 kills. Team Lichtman closed the gap to 46-45 by winning the second set, 25-21, on the strength of eight kills from Edmond. But, Team De La Cruz surged back in the third set to secure the match win with a 25-21 result in the final frame.

MATCH NOTES

  • De La Cruz registered her 10th consecutive double-digit kill performance after her 19 kills on Thursday night … She has posted 10 or more kills in 11 of her last 12 outings with five double-doubles during that span.

  • Nootsara posted her eighth double-double of the season, including her second in a row … She also reached the 40-assist plateau for the third time this year and has eight matches with 10 or more digs.

  • Libero Morgan Hentz notched her 12th match with 10 or more digs, including nine consecutive efforts, after finishing with a match-high 16 digs.

  • Edmond owns four consecutive double-digit kill performances following her 16 kills on Thursday night … She is averaging 14.0 kills per outing during the stretch … In addition, she has tallied double-digit kills in nine of her last 10 matches.

  • Fonoimoana set a personal career high with three service aces against Team De La Cruz … It marked the second time this season she has posted multiple aces in a match.

  • Cruz garnered her third double-double of the season with her 12 kills and season-high 16 digs … It was her first double-double since a 10-kill, 11-dig performance on Apr. 6 against Team De La Cruz.

  • Cruz also owns seven double-digit dig performances and has 10 or more kills in three contests.

  • Outside hitter Kalei Mau authored her second double-digit dig performance after finishing with 10 digs.

MATCH MVPS

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

POINT-EARNERS

Led by its captain, Team De La Cruz secured 140 of the 180 possible win points in the victory. De La Cruz finished with 355 leaderboard points after earning MVP 1 distinction, while Cruz followed with a season-high 349 points and an MVP 2 selection. Lichtman secured MVP 3 honors to lead her team with 195 leaderboard points.

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