Ali Bastianelli, Nootsara Tomkom

Team Cruz wins two sets despite dropping match to Team De La Cruz

Ali Bastianelli, Nootsara Tomkom © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Mar 20, 2022

DALLAS — Outside hitter Madison Villines posted a match-high 10 kills and opposite hitter Sheilla Castro nearly registered a double-double as Team De La Cruz completed the sweep of its Week One matches by edging Team Cruz, 71-69, in Saturday night’s second Athletes Unlimited Volleyball match at Fair Park Coliseum.

The win allowed Team De La Cruz to finish the opening week of the season with a perfect 3-0 record while Team Cruz closes play with an 0-3 mark.

Villines authored the first double-digit kill performance of her brief Athletes Unlimited career while adding five digs and a block. Castro, meanwhile, nearly had her second consecutive double-double after notching nine kills with 11 digs.

Outside hitter Aury Cruz and opposite hitter Falyn Fonoimoana each fashioned 10 kills in a losing effort for Team Cruz, while outside hitter Erin Fairs chipped in a career-high 15 digs with a season-high nine kills.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Led by four kills apiece from opposite hitter Sheilla Castro and outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz, Team De La Cruz took the early lead in the match with a 25-19 first set victory. But, Team Cruz answered with a 25-23 victory in the second set on the strength of four kills from outside hitter Madison Villines. Team Cruz also claimed the final set by virtue of a 25-23 verdict, but Team De La Cruz earned the match win.

MATCH NOTES

  • Four of the first six matches this season have been decided by four points or less after Saturday’s two-point verdict … The two-point margin is also the smallest in the six matches so far this season.

  • Team De La Cruz won its second straight match despite losing two of the three sets … The squad also dropped two sets in its 78-74 win over Team Lowe on Friday night.

  • Villines closed the week with 26 kills in three matches, including her 10-kill effort on Saturday.

  • Fonoimoana posted her third consecutive double-digit kill effort while Cruz reached double figures in kills for the second time in three matches this season.

  • Setter Nootsara Tomkom authored the first double-double of her Athletes Unlimited career after finishing with 28 assists and 10 digs in a losing effort for Team Cruz.

MATCH MVPS

  • #1 – Erin Fairs (Team Cruz, +60)
  • #2 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team De La Cruz, +40)
  • #3 – Madison Villines (Team De La Cruz, +20)

POINT-EARNERS

Team De La Cruz earned 100 win points from its first set win and the overall match, 71-69. Despite losing the match, Team Cruz won the second and third sets for 80 win points.

Erin Fairs led all players with 254 points with 15 digs and nine kills in the match. Bethania De La Cruz earned 228 points, digging 13 and adding six kills. Madison Villines rounded out the top point-earners with 10 kills and eight digs for 218 points.

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