DALLAS (AP) — Volleyball players Carli Lloyd and Alisha Glass Childress, who helped the U.S. women win bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, are among the newcomers for the second year of a pro volleyball team in their home country.
Athletes Unlimited is returning to Dallas and will have fans at Fair Park Coliseum for the first time for a unique indoor league that rewards individual stats over team results. The five-week season starts Wednesday.
Players form new teams every week, and standings are compiled based on individual performances.
Bethania De La Cruz of the Dominican Republic is the highest-scoring finisher from last year to return. She was runner-up to Jordan Larson, who helped the Americans beat Brazil for their first Olympic gold in the delayed Tokyo Games last year.
Other returning Americans who finished in the top 30 last year include Karsta Lowe (fifth), Lindsay Stalzer (12th), Taylor Sandbothe (21st) and Erica Wilson (29th).
Childress had a recent stint on the coaching staff at Stanford. She won three consecutive national championships with Penn State from 2007-09. Lloyd was the 2015 Pan Am Games MVP.
Another newcomer is China's Yizhi Xue, who has played professionally in her home country after competing at Long Beach State. Kalei Mau, who is from Hawaii and played at Arizona, is on Philippine's national team.
Fans weren't allowed last year because of the pandemic but they can attend at Fair Park Coliseum, just east of downtown Dallas.
Fox's FS2 will air 12 matches. The CBS Sports Network and Bally Sports regional networks also will televise some matches. Others will be available on streaming services.