Omaha Supernovas Capture Title

OMAHA, Nebraska, May 18, 2024. – No. 2 seed Omaha came out strong and never looked back, sweeping No. 4 seed Grand Rapids, 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-22) to win the inaugural Pro Volleyball Federation Championship.

The match was played before 10,678 fans at the CHI Health Center and resulted in the team also earning the $1 million bonus that goes with capturing the league crown.

Supernovas setter Sydney Hilley was awarded Postseason Most Valuable Player honors and a $10,000 bonus. The Wisconsin graduate came off the bench to guide the Omaha offense to two victories. She recorded 40 assists and six digs in the three sets as the Supernovas hit .342 for their second highest hitting percentage of the season. That effort was after handing out 46 assists and adding nine digs in a reverse sweep over San Diego in the semifinals.

Saturday marked the third sweep in the month of May for the Supernovas. Omaha had three sweeps combined in the previous three months.

The Supernovas began the first set strong, jumping out to leads of 8-4 and 16-8 before winning 25-13. Brooke Nuneviller had six points in the set, leading the team to a .650 attack percentage. No individual had more than two points in that set for the Rise.

It was tighter in the second set, as Omaha edged Grand Rapids 26-24. The Rise’s Claire Chaussee led all players with six points in the set, while Bethania De La Cruz and Tori Dixon topped the Supernovas with five points apiece.

Omaha scored the first three points of the third set. Grand Rapids played catch up for most of the frame before a pair of Omaha attack errors allowed the Rise to finally draw even at 19-19. Emiliya Dimitrova, playing in her last match after 17 professional seasons, notched her final pro kill to level the score at 20-20 before Omaha pulled away and won the final set, 25-22.

Olympian Bethania de la Cruz paced the Omaha attackers with 13 kills on a .423 clip to go with eight digs and her league-leading 35th ace of the season. Stephanie Samedy matched her teammate with 13 kills on a .346 hitting percentage. Samedy finished the postseason with 43 total kills on a .391 clip in two matches with 13 digs, three blocks and two aces. Team captain Brooke Nuneviller was the third Supernovas player to reach double-digit kills with 12 along with 15 digs.

Grand Rapids was led by star attackers Claire Chaussee and Dimitrova. Chaussee totaled 12 kills and seven digs while Dimitrova added 12 kills and 11 digs.

The match marked only the second time the Rise were swept this season. The other 3-0 defeat came on April 28 at the Columbus Fury.