MESA, Arizona — Opposite Saskia Hippe was selected in the fifth round of last Tuesday’s Athletes Unlimited Volleyball weekly draft. After her performance against Team Hilley on Monday night, there’s little reason to believe she will remain on the draft board in the fifth round when the Week Three draft takes place.
Hippe posted a season-high 15 kills with an outstanding .419 hitting percentage to lift Team Hentz to its third consecutive win, a 78-55 victory over Team Hilley in the opening match of the doubleheader at Legacy Park.
The loss ended Team Hilley’s two-match win streak and dropped the unit’s record to 2-1 for the week.
Hippe, who finished with 361 leaderboard points in the victory, headlined the Match MVP sweep for Team Hentz with her MVP 1 distinction. Outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz followed with MVP 2 recognition after recording a match-high 16 kills and seven digs, giving the league leader 391 leaderboard points.
Libero Morgan Hentz completed the MVP trio after notching 12 digs and 268 leaderboard points.
Outside hitter Claire Chaussee paced Team Hilley in the loss with 12 kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Team Hentz held off Team Hilley in the opening set to collect a 28-26 victory as Hippe paced the offense with six kills. Hippe added five more kills in the second frame to guide Team Hentz to a 25-13 set win while extending the match margin to 53-39.
Hippe’s performance allowed her to move up seven spots on the leaderboard and into 10th place pending the results of the match between Team Linnehan and Team Edmond. De La Cruz and Hentz continue to hold the top two positions in the league standings while Hilley remains in third place.
Team Hilley and Team Hentz combined to register eight service aces in Monday’s opening match, upping the league’s season total to 63 aces through 11 matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every service aces this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.
Team Hentz secured the 22nd win points sweep in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history, including the sixth sweep this season … The squad’s 23-point margin of victory also stands as the third-highest mark in league history.
Team Hentz closed the week by winning eight of its nine sets, collecting 500-of-540 possible win points in the process … It is the fourth time in league history a team has won eight sets in a single week, including the second time this season after Team Edmond accomplished the feat in Week One.
Hippe authored her fourth double-digit kill performance of the season … She has also registered at least one block in four consecutive matches.
Chaussee posted her third straight double-digit kill effort after collecting 12 kills in the loss for Team Hilley … She ended Week Two with 49 kills over three matches, averaging 5.44 kills per set.
Valentin-Anderson secured 40 or more assists for the seventh time in her Athletes Unlimited career, which are the most by any player in league history … She also recorded her league-best 17th career outing with 30 or more assists.
De La Cruz finished with 391 leaderboard points to mark her fourth consecutive match with 300 or more leaderboard points … In addition, she will hold the distinction as the first player in league history to register 10,000 career leaderboard points, closing Week Two with 10,216 points.
De La Cruz also became the first player in league history with 5,000 career stat points after securing 171 stat points in the victory on Monday night … De La Cruz has fashioned 5,036 stat points over her three-year Athletes Unlimited career.
De La Cruz, who became the first player in league history to reach 500 career kills on Sunday, added 16 more kills to her league-record total in her Week Two finale … In 36 career matches, the reigning Athletes Unlimited Volleyball champion owns 526 career kills.
De La Cruz has been named as a Match MVP in 5-of-6 matches this season, extending her career total to a league-record 25 MVP awards.
Hentz, who moved into sole possession of third place on the league’s career Match MVP list with her 11th career honor, notched 10 or more digs for the sixth consecutive contest to begin the season … She has 20 matches with 10 or more digs over the last two seasons.
- #1 – Saskia Hippe (Team Hentz, +60)
- #2 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team Hentz, +40)
- #3 – Morgan Hentz (Team Hentz, +20)
Recap: Team Hentz hangs on to win match over Team Edmond
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
Recap: Team Hilley secures victory, sweeps win points behind all-around team effort
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Recap: Chaussee leads Team Hilley to victory with 24 kills over Team Edmond
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
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