Bethania de la Cruz wins Athletes Unlimited Volleyball crown

Jade Hewitt/Athletes Unlimited

Bethania De La Cruz was crowned the Season 2 Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Champion on Saturday, capping off a dominant showing during the five-week competition.

The outside hitter, who finished second last season, clinched the title with 4,652 points, serving as a captain for all five weeks.

De La Cruz led the league in kills with 233 and aces with 18 while notching a total of 168 digs. Posting a record 13 MVP honors on the season, De La Cruz broke the record for most leaderboard points in a single match at 477, single-match kills, firing 27, and single-match aces, posting four.

“The fact that he came here and learned a lot about the game and was with all of us together, it’s emotional for me and it motivates me to play better,” De La Cruz said of her win.

Natalia Valentin-Anderson, who led the league in assists, finished behind De La Cruz with 3,337 points, with Dani Drews and Cassidy Lichtman rounding out the top four.

Athletes Unlimited also named the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Volleyball Dream Team honorees, voted on by players and facilitators. Opposite Sheilla Castro, setter Valentin-Anderson, libero Morgan Hentz, middle blockers Molly McCage and Jenna Rosenthal, and outside hitters De La Cruz and Drews were all named to the team.

In addition to her Dream Team honor, Hentz was also selected as the GEICO Defensive Player of the Year. Hentz led the league in digs with 229, breaking Kristen Tupac’s previous single-season digs record of 200. The libero was awarded a $5,000 prize for the distinction.

Athletes Unlimited Volleyball will return for its third season in 2023.