Bethania De La Cruz
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
2019 NORCECA Championship Gold Medalist, 2022 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Champion
Playing for Starlings Volleyball USA (opens in new tab)
Personal: De La Cruz is a devoted mother to her son, Fer. She finds joy in spending quality time with her family and has a deep appreciation for the beach, travel, and music.
2022 Season: De La Cruz's dominance in the 2022 season was exemplified by her record-setting achievement of 4,652 points, which established a new league record. As a vital member of the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Dream Team, she showcased her unwavering dedication by participating in all 45 sets throughout the season. Throughout the season, De La Cruz consistently held the top spot on the leaderboard, demonstrating her exceptional prowess on the court. Her relentless pursuit of excellence was evident when she reclaimed the league lead from Dani Drews on April 6 and maintained her advantage in the final two weeks of the season. One of the standout aspects of De La Cruz's performance was her remarkable offensive output. She set Athletes Unlimited single-season records with 233 kills and 18 service aces, solidifying her reputation as a potent offensive force in the league. Her ability to make an impact on the game was further emphasized as she ranked second in the league with 610 attack attempts while maintaining an impressive hitting percentage of .289. De La Cruz's consistency in delivering impactful plays was a defining characteristic of her season. She closed the season with an astounding 12 consecutive double-digit kill performances and recorded 13 matches with 10 or more kills, earning her the second spot in the league in this regard. Notably, she posted eight efforts with 15 or more kills, tying with Dani Drews for the top position in Athletes Unlimited. In addition to her offensive prowess, De La Cruz showcased her versatility by achieving seven double-doubles, including five in her final seven outings of the season. Her contributions extended to the defensive aspect of the game, as she finished the season with a commendable sixth place in the league with 168 digs, including eight matches with 10 or more digs. She also tied for eighth in the league with 239 reception attempts, highlighting her comprehensive skill set. De La Cruz earned a remarkable 10-5 record as a captain, becoming the first athlete in any Athletes Unlimited sport to serve as a captain during all five weeks in a single season. Her captaincy extended over two years, making her the athlete with the most captaincy experience in Athletes Unlimited history. Furthermore, De La Cruz's exceptional performance earned her a league-record 13 match MVP honors, surpassing the previous record of 12 awards set by Jordan Larson in the 2021 campaign. She also led the league with eight MVP 1 commendations, further solidifying her status as the season's standout player. Her MVP 1 distinction extended to each of her final seven matches, including an impressive streak of five MVP 1 awards in a row. De La Cruz consistently delivered on the scoreboard, registering 200 or more leaderboard points in 13 out of 15 matches. She set another league record with three matches exceeding 400 points and achieved the 300-point mark nine times, including her last four matches in a row. In a remarkable display of her skills, she set a league single-match record with 477 leaderboard points in a match against Team Valentin-Anderson on April 15, recording 17 kills and a .400 hitting percentage while also contributing 17 digs in a decisive 75-61 victory. Her outstanding season also included breaking the Athletes Unlimited single-match record for kills with 27 in a match against Team Stivrins on March 25. In that same match, she maintained an impressive .411 hitting percentage and added seven digs in a closely contested 71-70 setback. De La Cruz's contributions were not limited to offense, as she demonstrated her prowess in serving by setting a league single-match record with four service aces in back-to-back matches on April 2 against Team Lowe and April 6 against Team Sheilla. This multifaceted approach to the game exemplified her all-around excellence.
2021 Season: De La Cruz played 15 matches and 45 sets. She secured the second position in the league with an impressive 3,690 leaderboard points. Her offensive capabilities were also evident as she ranked third in Athletes Unlimited with 193 kills, highlighting her proficiency in attacking the opponent's defenses. Notably, she tied for second place in the league for service aces, underlining her diverse skill set that extended beyond just scoring points. One of the standout aspects of De La Cruz's performance was her consistency in delivering impactful plays. She managed to record 10 or more kills in an impressive 13 out of the 15 matches she participated in, which included a season-high of 21 kills against Team Clark on February 28th. Her remarkable opening to the season featured 10 consecutive double-digit kill performances, setting a high standard from the very beginning. De La Cruz achieved double-doubles in back-to-back matches against Team Lowe and Team Edmond, showcasing her proficiency in both offensive and defensive play. Her season-high of 13 digs against Team Hunter on March 21st emphasized her dedication to making impactful contributions not only in scoring but also in the defensive aspect of the game. In a particularly outstanding performance on February 28th against Team Clark, De La Cruz earned a season-high of 430 leaderboard points, further solidifying her reputation as a key player in the league.
Other Professional Experience: De La Cruz played five years professionally in Puerto Rico. She was a member of 2014 Criollas de Caguas champion team and won 2015 Polish Cup. De La Cruz has also played in the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Indonesia, Kazakstan and Thailand.
International Experience: De La Cruz is a member of Dominican Republic National Team She is an eight-time Gold medalist and has also won nine Silver medals and six Bronze medals.
Team De La Cruz
Team De La Cruz
Team De La Cruz
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