Nia Reed, Team Nootsara celebrates

Recap: Team Nootsara sweeps win points to open season

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Oct 06, 2023

MESA, Arizona — Outside hitter Claire Chaussee may have been playing in her first Athletes Unlimited match, but it appears she wants to take quick aim at the league’s record book.

Chaussee authored a double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs to propel Team Nootsara to a 75-63 sweep over Team Valentin-Anderson in the 2023 Volleyball season opener at Legacy Park on Friday night.

The former Louisville star was a clear choice for MVP 1 accolades after guiding her squad to the triumph, finishing with 393 leaderboard points.

Team captain Nootsara Tomkom secured MVP 2 distinction after fashioning a double-double of 40 assists and 11 digs. Tomkom, who placed fifth in the final leaderboard last season, registered an Athletes Unlimited career-high 322 leaderboard points in the victory.

Opposite Nia Reed, another newcomer, completed the MVP sweep after contributing 10 kills with four digs and two solo blocks. Reed notched 313 leaderboard points in her Athletes Unlimited debut to complete the triumvirate of 300-point performers.

Rookie opposite Saskia Hippe led Team Valentin-Anderson in the loss with 13 kills and nine digs, while rookie outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller added 10 kills and seven digs. Team captain Natalia Valentin-Anderson authored a double-double of 29 assists and 15 digs.


Team Nootsara secured the 25-20 win in the opening set as Chaussee tallied five kills to go with four kills from Reed. Chaussee continued her strong play in the second set, collecting seven kills in Team Nootsara’s 25-20 victory.


  • Team Nootsara and Team Valentin-Anderson combined to record five service aces in the season opener … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every service ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.

  • The match between Team Nootsara and Team Valentin-Anderson marked the first official Athletes Unlimited Volleyball contest in 538 days … It was the first match since April 16, 2022, when Team De La Cruz edged Team Drew by a 76-73 margin.

  • Team Nootsara authored the 17th win points sweep in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history … There were 10 three-set sweeps during the inaugural 2021 campaign before six sweeps last year.

  • Chaussee’s 393 leaderboard points stand as the 13th-highest single-match total in league history.

  • Chaussee had 10 or more kills in 64-of-128 matches during her college career at Louisville … She also had 11 double-double efforts for the Cardinals.

  • Chaussee’s 16 kills are tied for the second-highest total in a season opener in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history … Opposite Karsta Lowe holds the record with 22 kills against Team Cruz on March 16, 2022, while outside hitter Aury Cruz registered 16 kills against Team Clark in the first-ever match on February 27, 2021.

  • Tomkom, making her debut as a captain, reached 30 or more assists for the 12th time in 16 career Athletes Unlimited matches after finishing with 40 helpers … She also secured the 10th double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career.

  • Valentin-Anderson, who led the league with 11 double-double performances last season, now owns 12 career double-doubles in Athletes Unlimited play.

  • Nuneviller secured 10 or more kills 88 times in her 143-match career at Oregon.


  • #1 – Claire Chaussee (Team Nootsara, +60)
  • #2 – Nootsara Tomkom (Team Nootsara, +40)
  • #3 – Nia Reed (Team Nootsara, +20)

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