Monday, May 20, 2024

Match Preview: Omaha Supernovas vs Columbus Fury in Saturday Night Showdown

COLUMBUS, OH. – Fresh off securing up a spot in the first Pro Volleyball Federation Championship, the Omaha Supernovas (13-7) begin a two-match road trip with a visit to the Columbus Fury (8-12) on Saturday, May 4 at Nationwide Arena. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT. 

Saturday’s contest will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network. It will be the second of three appearances on the cable network for the Supernovas. Daniel Gillman and Camryn Irwin will be on the call.  

The match will also be broadcast live on the Supernovas Radio Network, featuring its flagship station 93.7 The Ticket. The broadcast will also be live on 95.7 The Boss (Omaha), KRVN (Lexington), KOLT (Scottsbluff), and KTIC (West Point). Award-winning broadcaster Derrick Pearson and AVCA High School Coach of the Year Renee Saunders will provide commentary. 

With the Fury getting swept by the first-place Atlanta Vibe Thursday night, the Supernovas have officially clinched a spot in the Pro Volleyball Championship. The landmark event is set to take place at the home of the Supernovas, the CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha on May 15 and May 18.  

Heading into Saturday, Omaha either needs to win two more matches or have the San Diego Mojo (9-10) reach 12 losses to secure the No. 2 seed for the championship. 

No one can win the season series on Saturday as each team has won one match each. The Fury dominated the Supernovas in their home opener on Feb. 21 coming out with a 3-1 win as Reagan Cooper posted 22 kills. Omaha responded with a 3-1 win of its own on April 4 at the CHI Health Center with Supernovas outside hitter Bethania de la Cruz racking up 26 kills on a .585 clip which are both franchise records.  

The Supernovas are coming off a thrilling, five-set win over the Grand Rapids Rise on April 26 in which team captain Brooke Nuneviller and new signee Stephanie Samedy combined for 41 kills. Samedy, who was making her first start as a Supernova, posted 21 kills on a .283 clip with 18 digs while Nuneviller added 20 kills and 16 digs. De la Cruz rounded out the standout trio as the Olympian totaled 17 kills on a .304 hitting percentage including five kills in the decisive fifth set.  

Samedy has made quite an impact during her early Omaha tenure, totaling 33 kills and 28 digs in the two matches that she’s played. That also includes an ace and one block. De la Cruz has also stepped up her game. After posting double-digit kills in only one of eight matches from Feb. 21 through March 30, the Dominican Republic native has scored 10 or more kills in six-straight matches dating back to April 2.  

The Supernovas continue to be the best serving team in the Pro Volleyball Federation. Omaha leads the league with four aces per match posting 80 aces in 20 contests. That includes de la Cruz who leads the league with 28 aces, including four in the past three matches.  

Omaha middle blockers Hristina Vuchkova and Tori Dixon are one of the most lethal middle combos in the league. Vuchkova has a team-high 58 blocks which equates to a league-leading 3.41 blocks per match average. Dixon isn’t too far hard behind with 56 blocks, but both middle blockers co-own the franchise record with six blocks in one match as Dixon equaled that mark last time out against Grand Rapids.  

After losing nine of its 10 matches from March 9 through April 17, the Columbus Fury have rebounded to win three of its last four putting themselves into postseason contention. Although, the Fury was swept by the Vibe on Thursday, May 2 in Atlanta.  

The Fury are without franchise middle blocker Asjia O’Neal who was called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, opposite Kendall Kipp has been one of the best players in the league since her arrival on April 12. The Stanford graduate is averaging 4.5 kills per set on a .187 clip across six matches.  

Rookie Reagan Cooper is another lethal weapon for the Fury as she’s posted 280 kills on the season which is fifth in the league. She’s averaging 4.12 kills per set on a .284 hitting percentage to go with 2.44 digs per set. Former Nebraska Volleyball player Kaitlyn Hord leads the middle group for Columbus with a team-high 35 blocks with 87 kills on a .316 clip.  

Omaha continues its road trip with a visit to Vegas to take on the Thrill on Monday, May 6. First serve is set for 9 p.m. CDT at Lee’s Family Forum.  

World Elite Syndicate

Related Articles

Sports Gaming Monitor

Latest Articles

Wager-Tracker: All Sports Betting Log