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, while those for the general public will go on sale Nov. 19.

Full Roster

  • Ali Bastianelli, MB
  • Amanda Benson, L*
  • Taylor Bruns, S
  • Sheilla Castro, OPP
  • Aury Cruz, OH
  • Tori Dixon, MB
  • Leah Edmond, OH
  • Erin Fairs, OH
  • Morgan Hentz, L*
  • Jordan Larson, OH
  • Cassidy Lichtman, OH
  • Kaylee Manns, S
  • Molly McCage, MB
  • Deja McClendon, OH
  • Taylor Morgan, MB
  • Valerie Nichol, S
  • Jenna Rosenthal, MB*
  • Ray Santos, S*
  • Ronika Stone, MB*
  • Lianna Sybeldon, MB
  • Nootsara Tomkom, S*
  • Kristen Tupac, L
  • Nomaris Vélez Agosto
  • Madison Villines, OH*

*Indicates new player for season two

Team USA volleyball star Jordan Larson is known to many by her catchy nickname “the Governor,” but how did it come to be? The Olympic gold medalist credits Team USA teammate Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson for the memorable moniker.

“We’ve been friends for over ten years, and she is one of my best friends,” says Larson, adding that she and Foluke started off as rivals, evening talking “a little crap” against each other in the 2006 NCAA finals.

Their friendship, however, flourished on the National Team, traveling the world together. And on one of those trips, the infamous “Governor” nickname came to be.

“We were in Thailand for our National Team games, and all of a sudden I see this guy at the end of the fan section, and he’s wearing a Nebraska shirt, and Foluke is like ‘seriously,'” Larson said.

Larson grew up in Nebraska and was a star on the Cornhuskers volleyball team, helping them win the national title in 2006.

The fan in Thailand ended up flagging Larson down, telling her he knew her dad. When Foluke went to share the unlikely story with her brother, he responded, “I mean, not surprising — [Larson] is like the Governor of Nebraska.”

And so, the nickname was born.

Foluke, who Larson calls the nickname queen, soon started referring to Larson exlusively as “the Governor,” and what once began as a joke quickly caught on.

“So it’s become part of the brand, but it’s more of a joke than anything,” says Larson, who now answers to several variations of “the Governor” nickname.

Listen to the latest episode of the Just Women’s Sports podcast for more behind-the-scenes stories with Team USA volleyball star Jordan Larson.

Volleyball star Jordan Larson always knew she would be an Olympian. The Team USA star won gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, rounding out a personal trifecta after previously winning silver and bronze, a feat she began laying the groundwork for in her youth.

Though she played a lot of sports growing up, Larson started getting serious about volleyball when she was 12 years old.

“My parents sat me down because — I’m sure as you know — it’s an investment,” Larson told Kelley O’Hara on the Just Women’s Sports podcast.

Larson’s parents saw her time in club volleyball as a long-term investment and they encouraged her to look at it as a job. They told her that competitive volleyball is “going to take some sacrifice and some commitment” and urged her to write out her objectives in the sport.

“I sat down and set three goals that I wanted to start in high school, I wanted to go to college and play volleyball and I wanted to be an Olympian — at the age of 12.”

All of those hopes and dreams ended up coming true, something Larson credits to her parents’ foresight.

“I think it taught me discipline, it taught how to manage my time.

“It just really helped put it into perspective… I really bought into that and made it something that was really serious for me.”

Hear more about Jordan Larson’s historic volleyball career and her rise through the National Team ranks on the Just Women’s Sports podcast.

Nicole Levy’s crafty goal playing for Team Cummings in week four of Athletes Unlimited lacrosse may have been the finish of the season. The slick fake-out was Levy’s second goal of the match.

Team Cummings fell to Team Wood 10-8 despite Levy’s impressive offensive efforts, with a hat trick from Sam Apuzzo sealing the victory for Team Wood.

Saturday’s other matchup between Team Arsenault and Team Glynn was a defensive thriller.

Team Arsenault goalkeeper Britt Read recorded a record-breaking 14 saves to keep her side in the game. However, Kayla Treanor’s hat trick powered Team Glynn to a 9-6 win.

Team USA has advanced to the volleyball semifinals after toppling the Dominican Republic 25-11, 25-20, 25-19.

Annie Drews, who slotted into a starting position after Jordan Thompson injured her ankle, led all scorers with 21 points on 21 kills.

Jordan Larson, the U.S.’ outside hitter, posted a team-high 15 digs against the Dominican Republic.

“We knew from the get-go we were ready. We felt that in the locker room,” said Justine Wong-Orantes after the game.

The United States will face off against Serbia in Friday’s semifinal match in Tokyo.