Taylor Bruns Tegenrot

Team Lowe erases 12 point deficit in comeback defeat of Team De La Cruz

Taylor Bruns Tegenrot © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Apr 02, 2022

DALLAS — After starting Week Three of the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball season with losses, outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz had no plans of her team going winless in the finale against Team Lowe Saturday night.

Unfortunately for Team De La Cruz, someone forgot to let Team Lowe know what was planned.

Team Lowe used 15 kills from outside hitter Madison Villines and 10 kills from middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe to overcome a 12-point deficit and hand Team De La Cruz a 63-61 setback in the final match of the week at Fair Park Coliseum.

The win allowed Team Lowe to finish the week with a 1-2 record, while Team De La Cruz finishes the week with a 0-3 mark.

Villines, serving as a co-captain this week with opposite hitter Karsta Lowe missing the last two matches, ended the match with a season-high 15 kills on 34 attack attempts. She also added seven digs in the victory.

Sandbothe, meanwhile, eclipsed her career high with 10 kills while hitting .667 with four digs and two blocks.

De La Cruz, who finished the week in second place on the leaderboard, matched Villines for match-high honors with her 15 kills, while outside hitter Noami Santos-Lamb and middle blockers Rachael Fara and Taylor Morgan each chipped in six kills. Libero Nomaris Vélez Agosto finished with a match-high 18 digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Team De La Cruz used five kills from its captain to edge Team Lowe by a 25-23 margin in the first set before cruising to a 25-15 victory in the middle frame. But, Team Lowe made a major comeback in the final set by outscoring Team De La Cruz, 25-11, to earn the set win and the match victory.

MATCH NOTES

  • Team Lowe became the third team this season to win a match despite losing two of the three sets … Team McClendon lost the final two sets against Team Cruz on Mar. 18 … Team De La Cruz claimed a victory over Team Cruz the following night after dropping the last two sets.

  • De La Cruz set an Athletes Unlimited single-match record with her four service aces … The previous record of three aces had been accomplished 13 times, including seven occasions this year.

  • De La Cruz owns six consecutive matches with 10 or more kills after her 15-kill outing on Saturday … She has fashioned seven double-digit kill outings this season and has 19 for her career.

  • De La Cruz also registered her third double-double of the season in the victory … It was her first double-double since a 22-kill, 18-dig performance against Team Valentin-Anderson to begin Week Two.

  • Villines authored her fifth double-digit kill effort in Saturday’s win, including her third in the last four outings.

  • Vélez Agosto, who has double-digit digs in seven matches this season, equaled her career high with 18 digs on Saturday night … She also had 18 digs against Team Valentin-Anderson on Mar. 23.

  • Setter Taylor Bruns Tegenrot matched her season high with 14 assists off the bench … She also had 14 assists against Team Cruz on Mar. 19.

  • Libero Amanda Benson recorded her sixth straight double-digit dig effort after notching 16 digs.

MATCH MVPS

  • #1 – Bethania De La Cruz (Team De La Cruz, +60)
  • #2 – Taylor Sandbothe (Team Lowe, +40)
  • #3 – Taylor Bruns Tegenrot (Team Lowe, +20)

POINT-EARNERS

Team Lowe secured the final 140 win points in the match after Team De La Cruz took the opening 40 points. With 321 leaderboard points in Saturday’s finale, De La Cruz closes the week in second place on the leaderboard and will captain a team for an Athletes Unlimited record eighth straight week. Sandbothe, meanwhile, set a season high and just missed her career high with 264 leaderboard points. Villines also reached the 200-point mark in the contest, including 103 stat points.

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