Season two of Athletes Unlimited Volleyball is on its way.
The organization announced the return of the volleyball league on Monday, including the first 24 players of the 44-player roster. The five-week season will run from March 16 through April 16 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, and for the first time, matches will be played in front of fans.
Jordan Larson, AU’s inaugural volleyball champion, will return after being named MVP of the volleyball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics, where Team USA won gold.
“Athletes Unlimited provides the premier platform for women’s pro volleyball players in the United States,” Larson said in a release. “I’m beyond excited to have the opportunity to return to Dallas, and play in front of the incredible community of volleyball fans and players in the region and beyond. That coupled with some of the new athletes joining the league will make for a can’t-miss season.”
Also returning are two-time Olympic gold medalist Sheilla Castro, reigning GEICO Defensive Player of the Year Nomaris Vélez Agosto and fourth-place finisher Aury Cruz.
Seven newcomers have signed on for season two, including Nootsara Tomkom, long considered one of the best setters in the world. Among that group, Tori Dixon will make her debut after sitting out last year due to injury.
“As the only professional indoor women’s volleyball league in the United States, we’re beyond thrilled to welcome back 17 players from season one and seven new players who will be joining the league for the first time,” said Athletes Unlimited CEO Jon Patricof. “I hope fans will stay tuned for more news in the coming months as we announce the remaining 20 players, as well as details about our national and global media partnerships.”
The league’s partnerships from season one will remain in place, with USA Volleyball serving as a strategic partner and Starlings Volleyball, USA as a charitable partner. The Dallas Sports Commission, which helps attract sporting events to the area, will be among the league’s supporters.
“Our mission is to attract marquee sports events at every level to our great city and make Dallas an even better place to live,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission. “I’m personally passionate about hosting women’s volleyball here, as we open up pathways for women and girls to become the next generation of bright stars in sports.”
Athletes Unlimited also revealed plans for the first-ever Athletes Unlimited Volleyball College Draft. Similar to the process for softball and lacrosse, the league will draft a total of 15 players who completed NCAA eligibility in 2021 during a live broadcast on Dec. 17. The draft will be streamed at 7 p.m. ET on YouTube and Facebook.
Members of the Unlimited Club can start purchasing tickets Monday at AUProSports.com, while those for the general public will go on sale Nov. 19.
*Indicates new player for season two