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Match Preview: Supernovas Set to Dual Rise in First Pro Volleyball Federation Championship Match

OMAHA, NEB. – The Omaha Supernovas (17-8) will take part in history as they face the Grand Rapids Rise (13-12) on Saturday, May 18 in the first-ever Pro Volleyball Federation Championship Match at the CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha. First serve is set for 3:30 p.m. CDT. 

CBS Sports Network will provide television coverage with Paul Sunderland and Holly McPeak on the call. Madison Fitzpatrick will be the sideline reporter.   

The match will also be broadcast live on the Pro Volleyball Federation 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. 

Full match notes can be found here.  

Tickets for Saturday’s championship is still available and can be purchased by clicking this link. 

Omaha will look to become the first PVF Champion after its most dramatic win in franchise history. Down 2-0 to the San Diego Mojo in Wednesday’s semifinals, the Supernovas pulled off their first reverse sweep in a five-set classic. That included a 25-8 four-set victory which marked the first time in league history where a team has held an opponent to single digits in a set. It was also the largest margin of defeat in PVF history.  

Omaha opposite Stephanie Samedy went off against the Mojo, collecting 30 kills on a .410 hitting percentage to tie the league record for most kills in a single match. Team captain Brooke Nuneviller aided her teammate with 15 kills while PVF Server of the Year Bethania de la Cruz added 11 kills.  

Grand Rapids also went five sets in its semifinal, upsetting the No. 1 seed Atlanta Vibe which was capped off by a 15-8 fifth set win. All-League First Team member Claire Chaussee led the Rise with 22 kills while PVF Opposite of the Year Emiliya Dimitrova added 19. Attacker Erika Pritchard totaled 15 kills on a .324 clip while Kayla Caffey led the middle blockers with 10 kills on a .381 hitting percentage.  

Saturday’s championship will be the fifth meeting between the two teams with Omaha leading the season series 3-1. The Supernovas claimed their first road win in franchise history with a 3-1 victory on Feb. 12 in which de la Cruz established the league record for most aces in a single match with six. The two teams didn’t meet again until March 28 where Omaha pulled out another 3-1 win as Nuneviller tallied a then franchise-record 24 kills.  

Omaha secured the season series win at home on April 26, pulling out a five-set win in which Samedy posted 21 kills and Nuneviller added 20. The Rise earned their first win over the Supernovas in the regular season finale on May 12 as Grand Rapids prevailed in the fifth set 15-10 to cap off the regular season with a victory. 

The Supernovas were the best serving team in the league during the regular season and continue to show that in the postseason. Omaha leads the league with 4.12 aces per match posting 103 aces in 25 contests. That includes de la Cruz who leads the league with 34 aces. She posted two aces in the semifinal win over the Mojo. Grand Rapids enters Saturday fourth in the PVF with 3.08 aces per match as the season total for the Rise stands at 77 aces in 25 contests.

Middle blocker Marin Grote leads Grand Rapids with 17 aces on the season which is tied for fifth league wide. 

Omaha middle blockers Hristina Vuchkova and Tori Dixon are one of the most lethal middle combos in the league. Vuchkova has a league-high 73 blocks which equates to a PVF leading 3.32 blocks per match average. Dixon isn’t too far behind with 65 blocks, but both middle blockers co-own the franchise record with six blocks. That includes Vuchkova who reached that mark twice during the season.   

Nuneviller has proved to be an impact player against the Rise. In the four previous matchups the Oregon product has averaged 16 kills and 12.75 digs. Two of her three performances this season with 20 or more kills have come against the Rise including a season-high 24 kills on March 28. She also earned 20 kills in the five-set win on April 26.

Grand Rapids possesses a potent offense that has averaged a .223 hitting percentage this season which ranks third. That’s right behind Omaha who is second with a .225 clip. The Rise leads the PVF in assists (1,334) and assists per set (12.83). Setter Ashley Evans is the reason for those numbers, posting 1,053 assists on the season which equates to a league-high 10.97 assists per set mark.  

After another performance with 20 or more kills, Chaussee leads the league in kills with 417 for 4.13 per set. Dimitrova, who’s set to retire after Saturday’s championship, is the PVF leader in kills per set with 4.24. She’s recorded 390 kills on the season in what is a fearsome duo.  

Grote is now second in the league with 68 total blocks and has hit .295 this season which is eighth league wide. Caffey sits 10th with a .292 clip with 78 kills in 62 sets.  

Saturday’s PVF Championship will begin at 3:30 p.m. CDT at the CHI Health Center. The match will be televised on CBS Sports Network with the PVF Radio Network also broadcasting the match led by its flagship station 93.7 The Ticket.  

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