Willow Johnson celebrates a point

Recap: Johnson, Linnehan lead team in victory against Team Hentz

Linnehan slots into No. 1 spot ahead of second match of Week Five

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Nov 03, 2023

MESA, Arizona — Outside hitter Alli Linnehan and opposite Willow Johnson combined to register 35 kills with 14 digs and three blocks as Team Linnehan earned an 81-72 victory over Team Hentz to open the final week of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball season at Legacy Park on Friday night.

Linnehan, who claimed her sixth consecutive Match MVP honor, received MVP 1 honors after notching 17 kills with just one attack error with 43 attempts while adding nine digs to finish with 393 leaderboard points. Johnson, meanwhile, led all players with 18 kills and tallied five digs to secure MVP 3 distinction and 285 leaderboard points.

Middle blocker Molly McCage completed the MVP trio for Team Linnehan with an MVP 2 commendation, chipping in nine kills with one attack error on 18 attempts.

Team Hentz was paced by outside hitter Yossiana Pressley’s 18 kills and 12 digs while setter Taylor Bruns Tegenrot fashioned a double-double of 44 assists with 11 digs in addition to four kills.


Team Linnehan secured a 31-29 victory in a wild opening set that featured 14 ties and seven kills apiece from McCage and Linnehan. Team Hentz evened the match score by taking the middle frame with a 27-25 triumph before Team Linnehan sealed the match win with a 25-16 triumph in the final set.


Linnehan surged to the top spot on the leaderboard after her 393-point performance on Friday night, giving her a 128-point advantage over outside hitter Leah Edmond pending the results of the match between Team Edmond and Team Nuneviller on Friday night. McCage moved into fourth place after rising four spots with her 262 points.


  • Team Hentz and Team Linnehan combined to register two service aces in the first match of Friday’s doubleheader, elevating the league’s season total to 128 aces through 25 matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.

  • Linnehan and libero Morgan Hentz met as opposing captains for the third time this season … Hentz claimed the inaugural bout with a 76-51 victory to open Week Two before Linnehan answered with a 71-68 verdict in the Week Four opener last week.

  • The Orange jersey has won five of its last seven matches after beginning the season with a six-match losing streak.

  • Team Linnehan scored a season-high 81 points in its victory over Team Hentz on Friday night, marking the sixth time in league history a team has hit the 80-point mark in a match … The 81 points are tied for the second-highest total in league history, equaling the 81-point output by Team Lowe in an 83-81 loss against Team Sheilla on April 1, 2022.

  • Hentz tied the Athletes Unlimited Volleyball single-season record by claiming her 30th set victory of the season in the middle frame against Team Linnehan … She matched the league record established by opposite Erica Wilson and middle blocker Molly Lohman during the 2021 campaign.

  • Pressley has tallied 10 or more kills in four of her last six matches after doing so just once in her first six outings … She also recorded her second straight double-double.

  • Linnehan ran her streak of consecutive matches with 10 or more kills to seven in a row after posting double-digit kills just once in her first six outings … Linnehan has also secured 300 or more leaderboard points in six of her last seven outings, including the last five in a row.

  • Outside hitter Claire Chaussee fashioned her 10th double-digit kill performance, including her ninth in the last 10 matches, after collecting 15 kills in the loss against Team Linnehan.

  • Johnson has posted 10 or more kills in eight of her last nine matches, including the last five in a row.

  • Bruns Tegenrot posted the first double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career after setting personal career highs in assists (44), digs (11) and kills (4).

  • Setter Nootsara Tomkom, who posted a career-high 48 assists in the win for Team Linnehan, has recorded 30 or more assists in five of her last seven matches, including the last three in a row … She also reached the 40-assist plateau for the eighth time in her Athletes Unlimited career, tying Natalia Valentin-Anderson for the most in league history.

  • Tomkom’s 48 assists, which are the most by any player in a match this season, are tied for the second-highest single-match total in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history, equaling the outputs by Brie King against Team Edmond on March 13, 2021, and Valentin-Anderson against Team De La Cruz on April 8, 2022.

  • Hentz, the only player in the league with 10 or more digs in all 13 matches this season, has fashioned double-digit digs in 24 consecutive matches dating back to last season … Her 27 career double-digit dig performances are second in league history behind Nomaris Vélez Agosto, who has 36 career efforts after earning 11 digs.


  • #1 – Alli Linnehan (Team Linnehan, +60)
  • #2 – Molly McCage (Team Linnehan, +40)
  • #3 – Willow Johnson (Team Linnehan, +20)
Photos of the Match

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