OMAHA–(News Release Jan. 24)–In the inaugural match of the Pro Volleyball Federation, the Omaha Supernovas fell to the Atlanta Vibe in a five-set thriller (24-26, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 13-15) Wednesday at the CHI Health Center. A record-breaking crowd of 11,624 packed the stands for Omaha and Atlanta becoming the biggest American crowd to attend a women’s professional volleyball match.
Four Supernovas reached double-digit kills on the night including a team-high 16 from outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller. Iowa native Jess Schaben-Lansman chipped in 13 while former Wisconsin middle blocker Danielle Hart slammed down 12 kills on a .360 hitting percentage.
Outside hitter Bethania de la Cruz recorded 10 kills while recording three aces from behind the service line. Supernovas middle blocker Tori Dixon led Omaha with five blocks while posting a .391 clip on nine kills.
Outside hitter Leah Edmond led the Vibe with a match-high 27 kills. Alli Linnehan added 13, and Grace Cleveland recorded 11. Atlanta had a balanced defensive effort with five players posting multiple blocks to outpace the Supernovas 15-13.
Set 1: The Vibe jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after back-to-back Linnehan kills. Atlanta expanded its lead behind a Tori Dilfer-Stringer service run early in the set. The Supernovas mounted a mid-set comeback and tied the set 24-24 after a missed serve from the Vibe. Edmond locked up the set two points later at 26-24. Nuneviller led the Supernovas with four kills in the first set and posted a .250 hitting percentage. Edmond led the Vibe with a .286 hitting percentage on six kills. The Vibe out blocked the Supernovas 5-1.
Set 2: After going back-and-forth early on, the Vibe went up 14-9 behind a Shelly Fanning service run. A kill by Nia Reed and a smartly placed ball by Natalia Valentín-Anderson brought the Supernovas within one (16-17). Bethania de la Cruz served up a critical ace for the Supernovas to cut the Vibe’s lead to 22-20. Another tough serve by de la Cruz led to an overpass kill by Dixon. Two Nuneviller kills tied the set 23-23, but a net violation on the Supernovas ended the set 25-23 in favor of the Vibe. Dixon tallied an impressive four blocks and added two kills for the Supernovas. Edmond once again led the Vibe with six kills.
Set 3: The Supernovas took their largest lead of the game after a 6-0 service run by Nuneviller. The Vibe fought back with a 3-0 run of their own that was ended by a Dixon kill on the slide to make it 13-9 Supernovas. The Supernovas controlled the rest of the set and won 25-17 on a Vibe service error. The middles came up big for the Supernovas in the third. Dixon posted a .400 hitting percentage and Hart tallied a .357 hitting percentage.
Set 4: A balanced offensive effort helped the Supernovas to capture a close fourth set. Six Supernovas registered kills, with Hart’s five kills on a .300 hitting percentage. An early service run put the Supernovas up 8-4. They held the lead for the rest of the set. A tough hit by Gina Mancuso-Prososki led to an overpass put away by Dixon to get the Supernovas to set point. Schaben-Lansman posted her third block of the night to finish the set 25-19 in favor of the Supernovas and send the match to a decisive fifth set.
Set 5: Dixon got the Supernovas on the board first with her ninth kill of the match. The two teams traded points early on in the set, but the Vibe went up 10-8 after an Edmond kill. The Supernovas logged two kills of their own to even it at 10-10. Putting the Supernovas up 13-10, de la Cruz went on a service run which included two aces. A block by the Vibe and three straight kills by Edmond sealed the 15-13 set five victory for the Vibe.
The Supernovas continue their homestand, facing the San Diego Mojo on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m CST.