Former Spartan Holly Toliver playing for Athletes Unlimited

Former Spartan Holly Toliver plays in the league, in a bubble in Dallas. She says so far, it’s a massive success.
Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 3:53 PM EST
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DALLAS (WILX) - Athletes Unlimited is changing the world of professional sports.

“It’s athlete-run. We make the decisions. We do get paid, but no one tells us what to do. If we don’t like it, we change it,” said former MSU Spartans volleyball player Holly Toliver.

Volleyball is next on their list.

Toliver plays in the league, in a bubble in Dallas. She says so far, it’s a massive success.

“They want it to be a thing. They want to know that pro volleyball works in the United States,” Toliver said.

Toliver is one of 44 players. She’ll rotate teams every week, just like everyone else.

“How you play and how your team does matters,” she said. “The teams are constantly interchanging.”

Players earn points with better stats.

Every week, the highest scoring players pick their new teams.

Toliver is playing with some of the best in the country.

“We’re around Olympians every day, which still blows my mind,” she said. “The girls I grew up watching and wanting to meet someday...I’m high-fiving in practice...Which still...I fan-girl every, like, 30 seconds, but I’ll figure it out.”

She’s played a few years overseas, and Toliver says she’s been working hard since her days at Michigan State to make it big.

“You get paid to play, so there’s a different attitude, in college, there are some girls that cared about school more. That’s understandable, that makes sense. I did the opposite. I was all about volleyball already, gearing myself for pro.”

And that’s paid off.

“I’ve never felt more like a professional than I do right now. Being a part of something like this is absolutely amazing.”

Playing for athletes unlimited gives players like Toliver a chance to showcase their talent.

“If anything it’s a big stepping stone for a better pro contract,” Toliver said.

It also might provide a chance to represent the united states on the world’s biggest stage.

“That would be one of those things that I wouldn’t even believe until I’m in the jacket at the opening ceremonies,” Toliver said.

It’s still not out of the realm of possibility.

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