Team McClendon

Team McClendon sweeps to close out Week 1 against Team Lowe

Team McClendon © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Mar 19, 2022

DALLAS — Outside hitters Dani Drews and Leah Edmond combined for 30 kills as Team McClendon closed its first week of competition with a three-set sweep over Team Lowe in Saturday’s Athletes Unlimited Volleyball opener at Fair Park Coliseum.

Team McClendon, which finished the opening week of the season with a 2-1 record, secured the victory by set scores of 25-23, 26-24 and 25-11. After winning its first match on Wednesday, Team Lowe dropped back-to-back decisions to finish with a 1-2 record.

Drews, the top overall pick in last Sunday’s inaugural weekly draft, continued her solid start to the season and posted a match-high 16 kills on 36 attempts while chipping in six digs and two service aces. Edmond, meanwhile, followed with a season-high 14 kills and a .400 hitting percentage.

Setter Natalia Valentin-Anderson contributed a season-high 43 assists in the victory for Team McClendon, which finished with a .362 hitting percentage.

Team captain Karsta Lowe paced Team Lowe in the loss with 11 kills and a .233 hitting percentage, while setter Carli Lloyd added her third consecutive double-double with 25 assists and 12 digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Team McClendon used a .256 hitting percentage and a combined 11 kills from outside hitters Dani Drews and Leah Edmond to take a 25-23 victory in the opening set before holding off Team Lowe in the second set with a 26-24 verdict. Team McClendon completed the sweep in dominating fashion with a .667 hitting percentage in the final set en route to a 25-11 verdict.

MATCH NOTES

  • Team McClendon became the first team this season to register a clean sweep of the 180 win points … It is the 11th time in Athletes Unlimited Volleyball history (35 matches) a team has swept the win points in a match.

  • Team McClendon’s 18-point margin of victory is the largest since Team Larson claimed a 19-point verdict over Team De La Cruz on Mar. 22, 2021 … It is the sixth time in league history a team has won a match by 18 or more points.

  • Drews finished with 410 leaderboard points, setting an Athletes Unlimited season high … It is also the seventh time in AU Volleyball history an athlete has accrued 400 or more leaderboard points in a single match.

  • Lloyd posted her third double-double in as many matches … She is the first player this season to register three straight double-doubles.

  • Edmond reached double figures in kills for the first time this season … It is also the eighth time she has tallied 10 or more kills in her Athletes Unlimited career.

  • Valentin-Anderson’s 43 assists are the most by a player in the league this season … It is the second time in five matches a player has reached the 40-assist plateau.

  • Libero Nomaris Veléz Agosto reached double digits in digs for the third time this season with 13 digs in the victory for Team McClendon … It is also the 16th double-digit dig performance of her career.

MATCH MVPS

  • #1 – Dani Drews (Team McClendon, +60)
  • #2 – Natalia Valentin-Anderson (Team McClendon, +40)
  • #3 – Taylor Morgan (Team McClendon, +20)

POINT-EARNERS

Team McClendon swept the 180 win points as a result of its victory over Team Lowe. Dani Drews reached the 400-point plateau with her 410 leaderboard points off 16 kills, six digs and two aces, while Natalia Valentin-Anderson followed with 294 points and 43 assists. Taylor Morgan earned 282 points with eight kills of her own.

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