Volleyball Season 3: Movers of Week 2

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sarah Smith
Savanna Collins
Oct 19, 2023

Three out of four captains may be returning in Week Three, but that doesn’t take away from the competitive matches and leaderboard – in fact, you could say it adds to it.


A rivalry emerges

Leah Edmond, Morgan Hentz, and Sydney Hilley all rose to the top because of their 3-0 Week One super team that swept three matches and nearly every set. Of course, they were split up to each captain their own teams. But now it’s created a fight between stat, win, and MVP points as they try to not only beat the other in each match-up but also pass one another on the leaderboard.

First-time captain Morgan Hentz repeated her Week One success, securing a 3-0 record and winning eight out of nine sets. The only team that could beat hers to 25 was Team Edmond who won the second set in their meeting on Sunday. Team Hilley went 2-1 and also dropped the second set to Team Edmond.

Even with 500 win points for Hentz and 320 win points for Hilley, they still were unable to pass Edmond in the rankings this week. She remains ahead of Hentz by just 21 points with Hilley behind by 250.

Movers of the Week: Saskia Hippe and Brooke Nuneviller

There are two movers of Week Two, both jumping 18 spots on the leaderboard to break into the Top 10.  

Moving up from 28th to 10th overall is Saskia Hippe. She posted a season-high 15 kills with an outstanding .419 hitting percentage on Monday night that helped her earn 60 additional points for MVP 1 of the match. 

Brooke Nuneviller earned her first match MVP award of her rookie season after recording 17 kills and 13 digs for Team Hentz on Sunday. It was her second double-double of the season. In the match, she didn’t have a single attack error on 40 attempts – a new AU single-match record for kills without an error. Nuneviller is fourth in the league for stat points and while she doesn’t have nearly as many attack attempts as the athletes ahead of her in the category, her efficiency pays off.

In the second week of the season, the leaderboard is most influenced by win points and both these athletes benefited from being on Hentz’s 3-0 squad.

On her own level: Betty de la Cruz

Not to be forgotten in the conversation is Bethania de la Cruz. She jumped back to No. 1 overall on the leaderboard this week after ranking seventh after Week 1. She earned more points on the week than any other athlete, raking in 1,145 in three matches from win, stat, and MVP categories.

She won’t captain her own team in Week Three because she has been recalled to her national team to compete with the Dominican Republic in the Pan American Games.

Missing three games this week could hurt De La Cruz’s chance of repeating her championship. Edmond trails her on the leaderboard by just 137 points and this would give her leeway to not only pass De La Cruz, but pull away heading into Week Four. The only points she’ll collect this week are the minimum win points.

De La Cruz continues to dominate the statistical category, earning the most of any athlete for the second week in a row. She also leads the league in kills (100) and service aces (10).

First-time captain: Jenna Rosenthal

Middle blocker Jenna Rosenthal moved from eighth to fifth place in the rankings to be a captain for the first time in her two years with AU. This week she got it done on both sides of the ball with 21 kills, four blocks, and an ace. Rosenthal has been a part of winning teams both weeks and has a 6-0 record so far this season, which has been the biggest factor in her moving up the leaderboard. In fact, she’s yet to earn MVP honors this season. It goes to show how winning is the quickest and most important way to rise to the top. 

Week 3 Schedule

The competition for Week Three starts on Friday, Oct.20 with a set of doubleheaders on ESPN+. Team Hilley and Team Hentz will face off again starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Rosenthal will then make her captain-debut vs. Team Edmond at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT.

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