What was Leah Edmond’s reward for placing collectively probably the most dominant workforce statistically in Athletes Limitless’s volleyball historical past?
She needed to bid farewell to a crew that immediately clicked and hunker right down to draft a brand new squad.
Crew Edmond rewrote the file ebook in quite a few classes through the opening week of AU’s third season. Most importantly, it recorded probably the most lopsided mixture rating over three units when it steamrolled Crew Nootsara 75-44 (25-14, 25-16, 25-14) on Monday evening. The earlier low for factors in a match had been 54.
Edmond and Co. went 3-0 throughout their matches on Friday, Sunday and Monday at Legacy Park in Mesa, Arizona, and rang up 400 out of a doable 440 “workforce factors” awarded in AU’s non-traditional scoring system, dropping one among 9 units.
Crew Edmond crammed the highest 5 positions on the first-week leaderboard and would wind up being the springboard for all the gamers who certified because the captains for Week 2:
Edmond, the previous Kentucky standout exterior hitter; exterior Alli Linnehan, who as Alli Stumler led Kentucky to the spring 2021 NCAA title; Morgan Hentz, the libero who received three NCAA titles at Stanford; and setter Sydney Hilley, who guided Wisconsin to the 2021 NCAA championship.
These 4 will draft their groups Tuesday.
Hentz, the 2022 AU defensive participant of the 12 months, capped a spectacular first week with 19 digs and 4 assists and was voted probably the most invaluable participant in Monday’s first match, price 60 factors. She is the primary libero to earn the glory of main and drafting a workforce. A member of the USA national-team program, Hentz set the AU match file for digs with 25 in Crew Edmond’s victory over Crew De Le Cruz (77-73 mixture, 33-31, 19-25, 25-17) on Friday and totaled 57 through the first week.
Crew Edmond’s first line of protection had made its mark on Sunday evening, setting an AU match file with 18 blocks, 4 greater than the earlier commonplace, throughout its sweep of Crew Valentin-Anderson (75-58 general, 25-20, 26-19, 25-19). Center hitter Danielle Hart (Hilley’s former Wisconsin teammate) and setter Hilley led the block get together with 5 every. Hilley’s complete set an AU file for a setter. Hart ranked fifth on the first-week leaderboard, falling 64 factors wanting changing into the primary middle-blocker AU captain.
To not be missed was the contribution of captain Edmond, who was voted one of many three MVPs (MVP-1 on Sunday) in every match and completed atop the Week 1 leaderboard with 1.052 factors. She held a 112-point margin over Linnehan, the MVP-1 on Friday with 19 kills and 12 digs. In Monday evening’s match, Edmond was MVP-2 after logging an otherworldly (for an outdoor hitter at this degree of competitors) .520 hitting proportion, posting 16 kills on 25 swings with two errors, and chipping in 5 blocks and 7 digs.
In her maiden voyage on the captain’s helm, Edmond made draft decisions that match inside her consolation zone, together with Hilley, Hentz and center Jenna Rosenthal, the Marquette product who had performed with Edmond throughout AU’s exhibition tour in opposition to faculty applications within the spring.
“It was useful that almost all of us had already performed collectively,” Edmond mentioned. “(This workforce) had faculty teammates and individuals who I performed with the final three years. That mixture of actually younger gamers and (veterans) was the best a part of the workforce. Coming into the primary apply, we type of already knew one another.
“Sidney knew what I preferred, she knew what Jenna preferred, she knew what Dan (Hart) preferred, she knew how Morgan performed protection. Having a bunch of people that already knew the tendencies, we vibed so shortly, and it was really easy.”
The consequence was a beginning seven that overwhelmed its foes and hogged the leaderboard, rating 1-through-5, 7 (reverse Genesis Collazo) and eight (Rosenthal).
“My complete beginning lineup is prime seven proper now and the remainder of my workforce, even those who didn’t play or are injured, are prime 15,” Edmond mentioned after her workforce’s romp in Monday’s opening match. “I’m going to overlook them dearly as a result of I do know everyone else goes to tear that workforce aside or my teammates are going to be captains. But it surely was the best opening weekend, one of the best ways to begin.”
Despite the fact that Athletes Limitless is a person competitors with its roster of gamers shuffled in every of its 5 weeks, teamwork stays a foundational element, as demonstrated this week by the squad decked out in purple jerseys.
“We didn’t want only one participant to be a star,” Edmond identified. “Everyone was a star in their very own method: blocking, protection, hitting, serving. Everyone performed their half and that’s all you may need from a workforce. They had been dug in from the start. Anytime I requested for one thing, they gave it again to me and much more.”
The ultimate match of the primary week produced the second “golden set” in AU historical past when Crew De La Cruz and Crew Valentin-Anderson wound up tied at 69 in mixture factors after three units. Bethania De La Cruz (15 kills on 32 makes an attempt with two errors, two aces, eight digs), the veteran Dominican nice, settled the matter in emphatic trend when she spiked a ball almost straight right down to win the tiebreaker 5-3. Crew Valentin-Anderson, which went 0-3 in Week 1, received the units battle in regulation (26-28, 25-16, 25-18) however misplaced the combination warfare.
De La Cruz, the 2022 AU champion, wound up compiling probably the most particular person “stat factors” in opening-week motion with 440, 9 greater than Edmond, however her general complete of 761 was No. 6 general. Her workforce went 1-2. Lefty reverse Willow Johnson, the previous Oregon standout, figures to be coveted within the draft once more after rating ninth among the many leaders, and with a stat-points complete that tied for fourth.
Crew Nootsara completed 2-1, with a sweep of Crew Valentin-Anderson (75-63 complete, 25-20, 25-20, 25-23) and a one-point mixture victory over Crew De La Cruz by which it solely received the third set (70-69 complete, 21-25, 24-26, 25-18) earlier than being blitzed by Crew Edmond. Thai setting nice Nootsara Tomkom and OH Claire Chaussee, who led Louisville to the 2022 NCAA title match, had been tenth and eleventh on the leaderboard.