MESA, Arizona — The dynamic duo of outside hitters Brooke Nuneviller and Bethania De La Cruz combined for 31 kills and 17 digs to guide Team Hentz to a 79-68 victory over Team Hilley in the opening match of Sunday’s Athletes Unlimited Volleyball doubleheader at Legacy Park.
The win evened Team Hentz’s Week Four record to 1-1, while Team Hilley dropped to 0-2 in the season’s penultimate segment.
Nuneviller garnered MVP 1 accolades after erupting for 17 kills and a .417 hitting percentage, giving the former Oregon standout a season-high 417 leaderboard points. De La Cruz, meanwhile, returned from a four-match absence to chip in 14 kills with nine digs, giving her 334 leaderboard points.
Setter Alisha Childress completed the MVP sweep for Team Hentz after securing her fourth double-double of the season with 40 assists and 13 digs. Childress also added two blocks and a kill to close the match with a career-high 336 leaderboard points.
Outside hitter Claire Chaussee paced Team Hilley in the loss with a match-high 18 kills and just narrowly missed a double-double with nine digs. Team captain Sydney Hilley dished out 37 assists with four digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The trio of Nuneviller, De La Cruz and opposite Saskia Hippe combined to register 15 kills in the opening set as Team Hentz built an early 29-27 lead. Team Hentz extended its match advantage to 54-48 by taking the middle frame, which included six more kills from Nuneviller. The third set featured six more kills from Nuneviller as Team Hentz completed the sweep with a 25-20 verdict.
Nuneviler’s 417-point performance lifted her into fourth place on the league leaderboard, but she stands just four points out of third place pending the result of the second match between Team Linnehan and Team Edmond. Hentz, meanwhile, retains second place in the standings while De La Cruz rose into fifth place.
Team Hilley and Team Hentz combined to register one service ace in the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader, elevating the league’s season total to 104 aces through 21 matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.
Sunday marked the third meeting this season between Hentz and Hilley as captains with Hentz claiming all three wins … Hentz secured a 78-55 victory to close Week Two before authoring a 75-55 triumph to begin Week Three.
All three of Team Hentz’s victories over Team Hilley have resulted in a win points sweep … There have been nine sweeps of a match’s win points this season through 21 matches.
Team Hentz’s 79 points against Team Hilley are the most by a team in the league this season … It also counts for the sixth-highest single-match point total by a team in the league’s three-year history.
De La Cruz, who has earned Match MVP honors in six of her seven matches this season, collected the 26th MVP award of her Athletes Unlimited career, extending her own league record … Her six MVP accolades are tied with outside hitter Leah Edmond for the most in the league.
De La Cruz also registered her 19th consecutive match with 10 or more kills dating back to last season … It is also the 33rd time in 37 career Athletes Unlimited matches she has posted a double-digit kill performance, the most of any player in league history.
Nuneviller, meanwhile, earned her second Match MVP commendation of the season … She also earned MVP 1 recognition after a 17-kill, 13-assist performance against Team Edmond on October 15.
Childress owns three career Match MVP awards after being recognized for the first time this season.
Childress and setter Sydney Hilley each reached the 30-assist plateau for the ninth time in 11 matches this season, which are the most of any setter in the league … Childress also accumulated 40 or more assists for the sixth time in her Athletes Unlimited career, which shares second place on the league’s career ledger with Nootsara Tomkom.
Libero Morgan Hentz, who has 12 of her last 13 matches dating back to last season, fashioned her 22th consecutive match with 10 or more digs after finishing with a match-high 17 digs in the victory on Sunday night.
Chaussee has notched 10 or more kills in 9-of-11 matches this season, including the last eight outings in a row.
Nuneviller has posted 10 or more kills in 7-of-11 matches this season, including the last four in a row … She also became the 12th player in league history to earn 400 or more leaderboard points in a match, including the seventh this season.
Hippe tallied her sixth double-digit kill performance of the season after finishing with 10 kills in the win for Team Hentz.
Outside hitter Yossiana Pressley posted her third double-digit dig effort of the campaign with 10 digs and just missed a double-double with eight kills.
Outside hitter Aury Cruz has 10 or more digs for the third time in her last four matches after adding 10 digs in the loss for Team Hilley … It is the fourth time in 11 matches this season she has reached that mark.
- #1 – Brooke Nuneviller (Team Hentz, +60)
- #2 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team Hentz, +40)
- #3 – Alisha Childress (Team Hentz, +20)
Photos of the Match
Recap: Linnehan secures first win as captain, ends Team Hentz win streak, 71-68
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Recap: Team Edmond outlasts Team Hilley to win the match, 73-71
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
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