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Match Recap: Supernovas Pull Reverse Sweep to Reach Pro Volleyball Federation Championship Match

OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha Supernovas (17-7) pulled off its first reverse sweep in franchise history with a 20-25, 16-25, 25-18, 25-8, 15-11 five-set win over the San Diego Mojo (13-12) Thursday night at the CHI Health Center in the Pro Volleyball Federation Championship Semifinals.

The win puts Omaha in the first Pro Volleyball Federation Championship match with a one-million dollar prize at stake. The Supernovas will take on the No. 4 seed Grand Rapids Rise who upset the No. 1 seed Atlanta Vibe in five sets in the first semifinal on Thursday night. First serve is set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the CHI Health Center. 

You can purchase your tickets for the first PVF Championship by clicking on this link. 

Stephanie Samedy made league history by matching the PVF record for most kills in a single match with 30 kills on 61 swings with only five errors for a .410 hitting percentage. It also marks a Supernovas’ franchise record for kills in a match, succeeding Bethania de la Cruz’s 26 kills. De la Cruz added 11 kills on the night with 19 digs and two more aces to put her league-leading total at 34 on the season. Team captain Brooke Nuneviller reached double-digit kills for the first time in four matches with 15 and a match-high 20 digs for her highest total since March 28. 

Tori Dixon led the Omaha middle blockers with seven kills and three blocks. Hristina Vuchkova added four kills and tied Dixon with three blocks. The Supernovas totaled nine blocks and five aces. 

Setter Sydney Hilley subbed in for Natalia Valentín-Anderson in the second set and guided the offense to a .296 hitting percentage while dishing out 46 assists with nine digs and one kill. Libero Kendall White finished with 11 digs and three assists. 

Temi Thomas-Ailara and Lindsay Vander Weide paced the Mojo offense with 11 kills apiece as the offense hit .222. San Diego finished with 10 blocks and four aces. 

Set 1: The Mojo opened up a quick 4-1 lead to start the set. Omaha responded with the next two points, but the Mojo answered with three of their own to extend their lead to 7-3. Nuneviller had a huge stuff block to close the lead to 7-5, Mojo. Vander Weide recorded her fourth kill for San Diego at 9-7. Back-to-back Omaha kills tied the score at 11-11. The Supernovas claimed the 13-12 advantage after Samedy’s fifth kill of the match. The Mojo regained the lead after an Omaha error, and a Willow Johnson ace gave San Diego a two point lead at 16-14. Thomas-Ailara followed-up with a kill. Nuneviller sided-out for Omaha with a smartly-placed tip over the block. She followed-up with her fourth kill to bring the Supernovas within one (17-16). The Mojo took the next two points to force an Omaha timeout at 19-16. Thomas-Ailara followed-up with a kill and a block to extend the Mojo lead to 21-16. Vuchkova ended the San Diego run with a kill. Ali Bastianelli gave the Mojo a set point, and Vander Weide finished the set at 25-20 with her fifth kill. Samedy led the Supernovas with six kills, no errors and a .429 hitting percentage.

Set 2: Vander Weide and Bastianelli both recorded a pair of kills to open the set for the Mojo. A Thomas-Ailara ace forced an Omaha timeout at 5-0. Vuchkova got the Supernovas on the board with a kill at 6-1. A De la  Cruz kill closed the San Diego lead to 8-4. Samedy found her ninth kill of the match at 10-5, Mojo. The Supernovas went on a 3-0 run to narrow the Mojo lead to three (11-8). Thomas-Ailara sided-out for San Diego, but Samedy answered with her 11th kill. Sydney Hilley checked into the game for Omaha and made an instant impact with a second-ball kill for the Supernovas. Bastianelli’s seventh kill put the Mojo up 14-10. Morgan Lewis propelled a 7-0 run for the Mojo midway through the set. Samedy’s 13th kill got the Supernovas their 13th point, but the Mojo maintained the 23-13 lead. Dixon followed-up with an ace, and Omaha grabbed the next two points to force a San Diego timeout. Morgan Lewis ended the Omaha run, and Bastianelli finished the set at 25-16 in favor of San Diego. Samedy led the Supernovas again with seven kills and a block. Six different Mojo players contributed multiple kills.

Set 3: Three different Supernovas recorded a kill to give Omaha a 4-1 lead. Bastianelli contributed the Mojo’s fourth ace of the match to close the Omaha lead to 4-3. The Supernovas took four consecutive points to extend their lead to 8-3. Samedy’s 18th kill propelled Omaha to the 10-point mark first. Thomas-Ailara answered with a kill of her own at 10-8, Supernovas. Omaha mounted another run, and a Dixon block extended their lead to 15-9. The Mojo found back-to-back points behind a Vander Weide kill and August Raskie block, but Samedy answered for the Supernovas. Raskie went over on two at 19-15, but Samedy answered again for Omaha. A 3-0 Omaha run forced a San Diego timeout at 23-16. De La Cruz kept it going for the Supernovas with her seventh kill. The Mojo fended off two set points, but Samedy’s 23rd kill ended the set at 25-18 in favor of Omaha. Samedy pitched in 10 of Omaha’s 19 kills on the set. Dixon added two kills and two blocks.

Set 4: The Supernovas opened the set with a 6-0 run. The Mojo closed the lead to 8-4, but a Vuchkova block began a 4-0 Omaha run and forced a San Diego timeout at 12-4. Vuchkova found a kill for the Supernovas out of the timeout. An ace by Nuneviller quadrupled the Omaha lead at 16-4 with an ace. Grace Loberg checked in for the Mojo and recorded a kill at 16-5. De la Cruz logged her second ace at 22-7 to force a San Diego timeout. Back-to-back kills from Dixon and Nuneviller propelled the Supernovas to set point, and a Mojo service error ended the set at 25-8 and sent the match to a decisive fifth set. The Supernovas hit .500 on the set and held San Diego to -.077. De la Cruz served up a pair of aces and Nuneviller added one as well.

Set 5: San Diego took the first two points of the set, but the Supernovas answered with three of their own to take the one point advantage (3-2). A Vander Weide kill gave the Mojo a 5-4 lead, but Samedy answered with her 27th kill to tie the set. Samedy served up an ace to put Omaha up two at 8-6. The Supernovas took the 9-7 advantage after another Samedy kill, but the Mojo answered with back-to-back kills to tie the score at 9-9. A De la Cruz kill and Dixon block forced a San Diego timeout 11-9. Omaha took the point out of the timeout, but Valeria Papa answered for the Mojo. Samedy posted her 30th kill of the match to put Omaha up 13-10. She added a block to bring Omaha to set and match point. Nuneviller finished it off with her 15th kill and ended the set at 15-11. In the final set, Samedy added five kills and a block. Papa was a bright spot for the Mojo with five kills of her own. 

The Supernovas take on the Grand Rapids Rise in the first Pro Volleyball Federation Championship Match on Saturday, May 18 at 3:30 p.m. CDT at the CHI Health Center. CBS Sports Network will provide television coverage. 

Fans can listen to all the action on the Pro Volleyball Federation Radio Network which is led by the flagship station, 93.7 The Ticket. Radio coverage is also 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 be on the call. 

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