Willow Johnson jumps to attack the ball

Recap: Johnson, Watson combine for 19 kills in Team Hilley victory

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
Eric Rhew
Oct 23, 2023

MESA, Arizona — Opposite Willow Johnson and middle blocker Karis Watson combined to record 19 kills with nine digs and three blocks as Team Hilley closed its Week Three schedule with a 72-59 victory over Team Rosenthal to begin Monday’s Athletes Unlimited Volleyball doubleheader at Legacy Park.

The victory allowed Team Hilley to close the week with a 1-2 record, while Team Rosenthal dropped to 0-3.

Johnson earned MVP 1 honors after notching 11 kills with seven digs and a block en route to 291 leaderboard points. Watson, meanwhile, added a season-high eight kills with two solo blocks and a block assist for 246 leaderboard points and MVP 2 notice.

Setter and team captain Sydney Hilley garnered MVP 3 recognition after notching 37 assists with a season-high 23 digs, giving the former Wisconsin standout a season-high 340 leaderboard points.

Outside hitter Claire Chaussee paced Team Rosenthal in the setback with 11 kills, while setter Alisha Childress fashioned a double-double of 29 assists and 10 digs.


Middle blocker Emma Willis paced a balanced offensive attack in the opening set with five of her career-high nine kills as Team Hilley secured a 25-20 victory. But, Team Rosenthal answered by taking the middle frame with a 25-22 verdict, trimming the match margin to 47-45. Team Hilley claimed the match verdict with an impressive 25-14 triumph in the final set, which included seven kills from outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller.


Hilley and Nuneviller each moved five spots on the leaderboard with their winning efforts on Monday night, putting them in third and fourth places, respectively, pending the result of Monday’s nightcap between Team Hentz and Team Edmond.


  • Team Hilley and Team Rosenthal combined to register four service aces in Monday’s first match, upping the league’s season total to 90 aces through 17 matches … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every ace this season as part of its ‘Aspiration Aces’ initiative.

  • Hilley authored her second double-double of the season while collecting 300 or more leaderboard points for the third time … in addition, she joined Brie King and Natalia Valentin-Anderson as the only players in league history to record 30 or more assists and 20 or more digs in the same match.

  • Childress posted the sixth double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career, including her third this season.

  • Outside hitter Aury Cruz established a new career high for the second straight match after finishing with 18 digs in the loss for Team Rosenthal … Cruz now ranks fifth in league history with 14 career matches of 10 or more digs.

  • Nuneviller posted her fifth double-digit kill performance of the season after collecting a match-high 14 kills … She also earned 300 or more leaderboard points for the second time this season after closing play with 301 points.

  • Chaussee has reached 10 or more kills in six consecutive matches following her 11-kill performance on Monday night … Chaussee also registered 50 attack attempts, which are the most by any player in the league this season.

  • Johnson has notched 10 or more kills in 7-of-9 matches this season after doing so just three times during the 2021 campaign … Her 291 leaderboard points in Monday’s match are just one point shy of matching her career high, which she accumulated on March 6, 2021, against Team Edmond.

  • Libero Nomaris Vélez Agosto extended her streak of consecutive double-digit dig performances to eight matches after finishing with 11 digs in the loss for Team Rosenthal … She also recorded double-digit digs for the 32nd time in her 39-match career, the most of any player in league history.

  • Outside hitter Sassá Gonzaga recorded a season-high 11 digs on Monday night.


  • #1 – Willow Johnson (Team Hilley, +60)
  • #2 – Karis Watson (Team Hilley, +40)
  • #3 – Sydney Hilley (Team Hilley, +20)
Photos of the Match

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