Recap: Johnson, Tomkom lift Team Linnehan over Team Edmond, 75-64

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Oct 30, 2023

MESA, Arizona — Opposite Willow Johnson tallied a match-high 16 kills and setter Nootsara Tomkom dished out 42 assists as Team Linnehan secured its second straight win with a 75-64 verdict over Team Edmond to close Sunday’s Athletes Unlimited Volleyball doubleheader at Legacy Park.

The win upped Team Linnehan’s record to 2-0 on the week, while Team Edmond slipped to 1-1.

Johnson, who claimed her fourth Match MVP honor of the season, received MVP 1 distinction after posting her second straight match with 15 or more kills. The former Oregon star also added six digs and a block to end the evening with a career-high 339 leaderboard points.

Tomkom, meanwhile, received MVP 2 notice after setting a season high with her 42 assists. In addition, she added eight digs and secured 262 leaderboard points. Outside hitter and team captain Alli Linnehan completed the MVP trio for her squad with the MVP 3 award, collecting 315 leaderboard points on the strength of 11 kills and nine digs.

Outside hitter Leah Edmond paced her squad in the loss with 14 kills and 11 digs, marking her sixth straight match with a double-double. Outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide chipped in 10 kills while setter Natalia Valentin-Anderson added 37 assists.


Johnson blasted eight kills on 14 attempts in the opening frame to guide Team Linnehan to an early 25-22 advantage. The margin swelled to 50-37 through the second set as Linnehan contributed five kills in the frame. Team Edmond salvaged the third set with a 27-25 victory, but was unable to secure the match victory.


The win allowed Linnehan to scoot past libero Morgan Hentz into second place on the leaderboard, but the margin stands at just 15 points heading into Monday’s Week Four finales. Edmond, meanwhile, holds a 248-point advantage for the top spot in the league standings.


  • Team Linnehan and Team Edmond combined to register eight service aces in the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader, elevating the league’s season total to 112 aces through 22 matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.

  • Sunday’s nightcap marked the second meeting between Edmond and Linnehan as captains with each team leader winning once … Team Edmond edged Team Linnehan, 69-63, in the Week Two finale on October 16.

  • Facilitator Dave Rubio saw an end to his 10-match win streak … He was the only facilitator without a loss this season entering Sunday’s doubleheader.

  • Edmond has held the top spot on the leaderboard after seven of the last nine match days following Sunday’s action … She is one of three players to hold the league lead during the season, joining Linnehan and outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz.

  • Libero Nomaris Vélez Agosto became the first player in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history to accrue 500 or more career digs … She closed Sunday’s match with 510 career digs after collecting 12 digs against Team Edmond.

  • Johnson has tallied 10 or more kills in her six of last seven matches, including the last three in a row … Over the last three matches, she is averaging 14.0 kills per outing.

  • Outside hitter Erin Fairs reached 10 digs for the second straight match after compiling a season-high 11 digs in the win for Team Linnehan.

  • Vander Weide owns three straight double-digit kill efforts following her 10-kill effort in Sunday’s loss … It is the fourth time this season she has secured double-digit kills in a match.

  • Linnehan has tallied 10 or more kills in five consecutive matches, averaging 11.8 kills per match during that span.

  • Libero Kendall White has 10 or more digs in nine of her last 10 matches after accumulating a match-high 12 digs.

  • Edmond, the only player in the league with 10 or more kills in all 11 matches this season, will carry a streak of 16 consecutive double-digit kill efforts into Monday’s Week Four finale against Team Hentz … She also registered the 13th double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career, including a league-best eighth double-double this season.

  • Setter Natalia Valentin-Anderson extended her league record by authoring 30 or more assists for the 21st time in her Athletes Unlimited career … Eight of those efforts have come this season, which stands second in the league.

  • Tomkom finished the night with the seventh 40-assist effort of her Athletes Unlimited career, which is good for second in league history behind Valentin-Anderson.

  • Middle blocker Molly McCage saw her streak of five consecutive matches with a Match MVP award come to a close on Sunday … She posted nine kills with a service ace and a block assist in the victory for Team Linnehan.


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

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