Athletes Unlimited: Drews, De La Cruz, Valentin-Anderson, Stivrins emerge, captain week 2 teams

The first week of Athletes Unlimited Volleyball is in the books and the big winners were Dani Drews, Bethania De La Cruz, Natalia Valentin-Anderson and Lauren Stivrins.

Accordingly, those four got to pick the teams for the second week of the five-week competition being held in Dallas.

The scores from last week:

On Wednesday, Team Lowe (captained by Karsta Lowe) beat Team Cruz (captained by Aury Cruz) 2-1 in sets and 77-74 in total points. Lowe had 22 kills. Then Team De La Cruz beat Team McClendon (captained by Deja McClendon) 2-1 and 68-59. Drews led with 10 kills.

Friday, Cruz beat McClendon in sets 2-1 but McClendon won in points 71-68. Cruz led her team with 15 kills. Then De La Cruz beat Lowe 2-1 and 78-74. De La Cruz had 13 kills and 11 digs.

Saturday, McClendon beat Lowe 3-0 and 76-58. Drews led again with 16 kills and Leah Edmond had 14. Then Cruz beat De La Cruz 2-1 but lost in total points 71-69. Madison Villines had 10 kills.

Drews, the Utah product who started this winter in Poland but left her team early when Russia attacked Ukraine, finished the first round as the overall leader with 828 total points. 

De La Cruz, the Dominican Republic star, was next with 800. Valentin-Anderson, the Puerto Rican who played at FIU, had 667 points. Stivrins, who just finished her All-American career at Nebraska, had 660 points, just ahead of veteran Sheilla Castro, who had 654.

The schedule for the second week:
Wednesday — Valentin-Anderson vs. De La Cruz, Drews vs. Stivrins
Friday — Stivrins vs. De La Cruz, Valentin-Anderson vs. Drews
Saturday — Stivrins vs. Valentin-Anderson, De La Cruz vs. Drews

Want to watch? We have the links in our TV & Streaming Listings.

Here are this week’s teams:


Facilitator: Deitre Collins Parker

  • Dani Drews, Outside Hitter
  • Carli Lloyd, Setter
  • Jenna Rosenthal, Middle Blocker
  • Aury Cruz, Outside Hitter
  • Taylor Morgan, Middle Blocker
  • Amanda Benson, Libero
  • Jamie Peterson, Outside Hitter
  • Tori Dilfer, Setter
  • Rachael Fara, Middle Blocker
  • Noami Santos-Lamb, Outside Hitter
  • Sha’Dare McNeal, Opposite


Facilitator: Laurie Corbelli

  • Bethania De La Cruz, Outside Hitter
  • Nootsara Tomkom, Setter
  • Nomaris Vélez Agosto, Libero
  • Molly McCage, Middle Blocker
  • Sheilla Castro, Opposite
  • Eri Xue, Middle Blocker
  • Erin Fairs, Outside Hitter
  • Emma Willis, Middle Blocker
  • Taylor Fricano, Opposite
  • Ray Santos, Setter
  • Niki Withers, Opposite


Facilitator: Joe Trinsey

  • Natalia Valentin-Anderson, Setter
  • Karsta Lowe, Opposite
  • Madison Villines, Outside Hitter
  • Lindsay Stalzer, Outside Hitter
  • Lianna Sybeldon, Middle Blocker
  • Ali Bastianelli, Middle Blocker
  • Deja McClendon, Outside Hitter
  • Erica Wilson, Outside Hitter
  • Taylor Sandbothe, Middle Blocker
  • Taylor Bruns Tegenrot, Setter
  • Hana Lishman, Libero


Facilitator: Michelle Chatman-Smith

  • Lauren Stivrins, Middle Blocker
  • Leah Edmond, Outside Hitter
  • Val Nichol, Setter
  • Morgan Hentz, Libero
  • Cassidy Lichtman, Outside Hitter
  • Falyn Fonoimoana, Opposite
  • Ronika Stone, Middle Blocker
  • Kalei Mau, Outside Hitter
  • Alisha Childress, Setter
  • Naya Crittenden, Opposite
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