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Bethania De La Cruz returns for season two of Athletes Unlimited volleyball

Karsta Lowe finished the inaugural volleyball season in fifth place. (Jade Hewitt/Athletes Unlimited)

Athletes Unlimited is welcoming a new wave of players for the second season of its volleyball league this spring. The season opens on March 16 and will run through April 16 in Dallas.

Among those joining the league are United States Olympians Carli Lloyd and Alisha Glass Childress.

“I’m fired up to have the opportunity to stay in the U.S. and play again, especially within a league that has an emphasis on supporting not just the athlete but the whole person,” Lloyd said as part of Thursday’s announcement. “The fact that Athletes Unlimited has stood by me as a new mom coming back to compete has been very refreshing and having this league as another option for professional volleyball players is exciting!”

Lloyd is a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist as a member of the U.S. national team. In 2015, she was named the Pan Am Games MVP, helping lead Team USA to a gold medal. Glass Childress, also a 2016 bronze medalist, being named Team USA’s best setter.

Returning to AU volleyball are 2021 runner-up and Dominican Republic Olympian Bethania De La Cruz and fifth-place finisher Karsta Lowe. Taylor Sandbothe, Lindsay Staizer and Erica Wilson — who finished last season 21st, 12th and 29th, respectively — will also suit up again.

“We are thrilled to host our second year of professional indoor women’s volleyball in Dallas and cannot wait to welcome fans to Fair Park Coliseum to watch 44 of the best players in the world, including newcomers Carli Lloyd, Aleshia Glass Childress and returning 2021 runner-up Bethania De La Cruz compete for a championship,” said Athletes Unlimited CEO Jon Patricof.

Jordan Larson, who was previously expected to return for season 2, will instead be playing overseas in Italy.

FOX Sports will air 12 live matches on FS2, beginning with a doubleheader on March 18. CBS Sports Network will broadcast seven matches, while Bally Sports will be home to four on its platform.

Full roster:

  • Carli Lloyd
  • Alisha Glass Childress
  • Bethania De La Cruz
  • Karsta Lowe
  • Taylor Sandbothe
  • Lindsay Stalzer
  • Erica Wilson
  • Lauren Stivrins
  • Yizhi Xue
  • Kalei Mau
  • Falyn Fonoimoana
  • Natalia Valentin-Anderson
  • Emmaline Willis
  • Naya Crittenden
  • Jamie Peterson
  • Naomi Santos-Lamb
  • Sha’Dare McNeal
  • Rachel Fara
  • Taylor Fricano
  • Hana Lishman
  • Niki Withers